Topic: math

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How many ways are there to prove the Pythagorean theorem?

What do Euclid, 12-year-old Einstein, and American President James Garfield have in common? They all came up with elegant proofs for the famous Pythagorean theorem, one of the most fundamental rules of geometry and th...

The Kresling-Pattern and our origami world

Biruta Kresling is a Paris-based architect and independant researcher on folded structures—specifically how nature folds and unfolds tree leaves, tortoise shell bamboo, turbinate mollusk shells, the air sac of the h...

Three Gears are Possible

If you've ever seen an image of three gears all interlocking or an odd number of interconnecting gears, like those gears on some British two pound (£2) coins, you've seen a gear configuration that does not work. Howev...

Can you solve the fish riddle?

As the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of an endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, the boat is ba...

A 3D printed mechanical laser show machine

Engineer, maker, and 3D printing enthusiast Evan Stanford has created a 3D printed, hand-cranked mechanical laser show machine that 'draws' with projected light. The drawn shapes are created with two rotating cams tha...

Turing Tumble, a DIY mechanical computer powered by marbles

The Turing Tumble, this small Pachinko-like puzzle game prototype, is also DIY mechanical computer. Programmer Paul Boswell designed the Turing complete toy to help kids (and adults) learn, see, and feel how computers...

The Universal Tea Machine, a huge mechanical ‘adding computer’

"The better your binary addition skills the better your cup of tea!" The Universal Tea Machine by Smout Allen is a huge mechanical 'adding computer' that mixes tea and mixes tea, a British tradition that became popula...

Creating The Never-Ending Bloom: John Edmark’s spiral geometries

Artist, designer, inventor, and Stanford professor John Edmark creates sculptures that are driven by precise mathematics, but his interest in spiral geometries is driven by something more enigmatic... "a search for un...

A woodworker creates ‘Fibonacci Spiral shavings’

With a freshly sharpened chisel, woodworker Paul Sellers creates what he calls 'Fibonacci spiral shavings,' shaved pieces of wood that resemble Fibonacci spirals, "an approximation of the golden spiral created by draw...

Can you solve the virus riddle?

Your research team has found a prehistoric virus preserved in the permafrost and isolated it for study. After a late night working, you’re just closing up the lab when a sudden earthquake hits and breaks all the sampl...

The Brick Double-Domino Effect Explained

In 2016, bricklayers in Teralba, NSW Australia filmed their domino-style technique for capping a concrete brick wall. The video went viral thanks to the surprising second part of the chain reaction: After the bricks f...

A million things that make your head spin, a rainbow tape time lapse

A "six-story hurricane of color" ascends up into the atrium of Sydney, Australia's Customs House. The piece, titled A million things that make your head spin, was designed and installed with flagging tape—a weather-re...

A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations

Twenty five years ago, physicist Robert Lang worked at NASA, where he researched lasers. He has also garnered 46 patents on optoelectronics and even wrote a Ph.D. thesis called "Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries an...

Measuring the Berlin TV Tower with a ruler

Can you calculate how tall a building or monument is by using a ruler and the scale on a map? Mathematician Matt Parker attempts this ambitious math feat during his trip to the German capital. The structure he's aimin...

Calculating Pi (π) with Darts

Can you calculate Pi (π) by throwing darts at a square and circle target as randomly as possible? Physics Girl's Dianna Cowern and Veritasium's Derek Muller attempt the challenge, and when "randomly" doesn't happen, t...

The exceptional life of Benjamin Banneker

Born in 1731 on a farm in Baltimore, Maryland, Benjamin Banneker was an accomplished author, publisher, scientist, astronomer, mathematician, urban planner, activist, and farmer throughout his life. A free descendant ...

An origami-inspired model for reconfigurable materials

Metamaterials — materials whose function is determined by structure, not composition — have been designed to bend light and sound, transform from soft to stiff, and even dampen seismic waves from earthquakes. But each...

The mathematics of sidewalk illusions

Have you ever come across an oddly stretched image on the sidewalk, only to find that it looks remarkably realistic if you stand in exactly the right spot? These sidewalk illusions employ a technique called anamorphos...

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