math

Showing 39 posts tagged math

In a mix of artistry, geometry, and technology, San Francisco-based Earthscape artist Andres Amador creates massive sketches in the beach sand – sometimes geometric, and sometimes more abstract and serendipitous – using rakes and ropes. The designs are temporary; where the waves don’t wash away his work, walking beach visitors and the wind will naturally muddy and dissolve the precise lines.

Amador has become keenly aware of how impermanent his work is, and has embraced nature’s tidal rhythm, starting one hour before low tide and continuing to work until an hour afterward. In this KQED Arts video, he explains: 

People are really… they’re enthralled that i would do something that is destined to wash away. That really strikes a chord with people because really, truly, it’s the story of our lives. Our lives are impermanent, and the tide is unstoppable.

And though this art form is tied directly to nature, Amador makes great use of modern technology. The designs can be both checked and appreciated-in-full from high above the beach using a remote controlled helicopter.

To see more from high above, visit AndresAmadorArts.com or view more photos here.

In the archives, two other incredible beach art videos: One Plastic Beach and Theo Jansen’s wind-fueled Strandbeests.

From KQED.

How Do We Know How Old the Sun Is? The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and animation studio Beakus join together to explain how Kepler and Newton’s laws help us figure out the weight of the sun, how the age of our solar system can be calculated by studying meteorites, and how that data helps us determine the sun’s age.

Previously from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Measuring the Universe, and more videos about the sun.

Travel back in time to Ancient Greece where revolutionary thinkers – from Thales, Pythagoras, Democritus and Aristotle to Euclid, Archimedes, and Hypatia of Alexandria – helped define the rules and language of mathematics.

For Greek thinkers, maths wasn’t simply a means of calculating amounts but a way of testing reality and understanding the true nature of the world around them. Indeed, Pythagoras is believed to have coined both the words “philosophy” (“love of wisdom”) and “mathematics” (“that which is learned”).

From the Ri Channel, Phoebe Halstead, and 12foot6, this is the two-minute story of math’s great Greek Legacy: How the Ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics.

Yay, math! Previously from the Ri Channel: the animated adventure of x-ray crystallography.

Thanks, @cawston and @benjohnbarnes.

In 1961, an interactive exhibition called Mathematica: A World of Numbers… and Beyond inaugurated the new science wing at Los Angeles’ California Museum of Science and Industry. Sponsored by IBM, it was an innovative exhibit designed by husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames, and lucky for us, it included five short animations that explored a handful of math concepts. Watch three of our favorites:

Above, 2ⁿ – “a story about the exponential growth of numbers raised to powers.” Below, Symmetry and testing for degrees of it:

Also, Topology – how a closed curve dissects a plane into inside and outside sections:

And in the archives, don’t miss this iconic Eames film: Powers of Ten.

via Tinybop.

Why do birds often fly in a “V” shape formation? Researchers at the UK’s Royal Veterinary College have gathered data from individual ibises in a migratory flock to study why this pattern is so popular: their relative position and wing flap timing gives them extra lift from the upward motion of air created by the bird ahead of them.

In 2011, as part of a reintroduction programme, captive-bred ibises following an ultralight aircraft to their wintering grounds arranged themselves in the shape of a V. Data loggers on their backs captured every position and wing flap, yielding the most compelling experimental evidence yet that birds exploit the aerodynamics of the familiar formation to conserve energy.

Above, this lovely Nature Video tells the study’s story: Come fly with me. You can read more about this upwash exploitation at Nature or The New York Times, or watch a summary video at NPR.org.

Related watching: take a ride on an eagle’s back, TED Ed’s Bird Migration, A Perilous Journey, and behind the scenes of the BBC’s phenomenal Earthflight.