Maths is Everywhere

This is a series of six mathematics lectures given by Professor John D. Barrow, investigating the many ways in which mathematics underpins our everyday lives.

Professor John D. Barrow FRS has been a Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge since 1999, carrying out research in mathematical physics, with special interest in cosmology, gravitation, particle physics and associated applied mathematics. (from

Image: Maths is Everywhere

Maths with Pictures
How pictures have been used in mathematics. The use of illustrations in ancient mathematics books, the invention of the first graphs and the representation of probabilities, sets and formulae by pictures.

Continued Fractions
What are continued fractions? How can they tell us what is the most irrational number? What are they good for and what unexpected properties do they possess?

The Bounce of the Superball
The commercially available 'Superball' of hard rough rubber displays many counterintuitive properties which seem to violate Newton's laws of motion.

The Uses of Irrationality: Paper Sizes and the Golden Ratio
Is there anything mathematically interesting about the paper sizes we use? We will see that their range of sizes has special features that facilitates their use in Xerox machines.

Benford's Very Strange Law
The first digits of randomly chosen numbers arising naturally or in human affairs display surprising statistical regularities.

Doing Business in Interstellar Space
Imagine that interstellar trade is possible at speeds close to the speed of light. It must incorporate the insights of Einstein's special theory of relativity, which teaches us that clocks on board a spaceship moving at high velocity will ensure time at different rates relative to clocks at the point of departure.

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