Archive for the 'Mathematics' Category

“Ich habe eine 113 gewürfelt…”

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

The New Yorker: The Dice You Never Knew You Needed.

“[T]wo scientists from the Dice Lab, Robert Fathauer and Henry Segerman, débuted their newest specimen, fresh from the petri dish. They had invented – or, rather, discovered; no, really they’d just inexplicably gone to the trouble of creating – a die with a hundred and twenty sides. “What do you use it for?” Fathauer asked the audience. “We have no idea,” he answered. Futility notwithstanding, the d120 is billed as the “ultimate fair die allowed by Mother Nature (i.e., mathematics!),” since a die couldn’t, practically speaking, possess more sides or more symmetry, and dice must be symmetrical to be fair.”

Watch the d120 in action on YouTube.

You can susbstitute the d120 for any dn in which n is a proper factor of 120; here’s a handy chart for this use.

Even though I don’t play any games that require more than a d6 or two and even though already own a d8, d12, d24, d30 (alphabet with 4 wildcards) and a d100 that I almost never use, I somehow feel like I need to also have a d120.

Links via MetaFilter: Or, disdyakis triacontahedron.

What’s the largest number you know?

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Tim Urban posted some interesting articles on Wait but why that illustrate large numbers:

From 1 to 1 000 000 is the tame beginning, with visualizations of numbers up to a million.

From 1 000 000 to Graham’s Number continues the journey up to Graham’s Number, compared to which a Googol and even a Googolplex is just an epsilon.

In 7.3 Billion People, One Building, he explains how long a chain of all living humans would be, and how big a building would have to be to fit them all in.

These were posted in November 2014 and March 2015, but except for the number of humans on earth (which has been estimated at 7.4 billion in March of 2016) should still be current.

Zero ≠ nothing

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

What is Zero? Getting Something from Nothing – with Hannah Fry “Is zero really a number? How did it come about? Hannah Fry tells the story of how zero went from nothing to something.”

Link via Schockwellenreiter.

The Nobel prize of Mathematics

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

NPR: Professor Who Solved Fermat’s Last Theorem Wins Math’s Abel Prize.

“The mathematics problem he solved had been lingering since 1637 — and he first read about it when he was just 10 years old. This week, British professor Andrew Wiles, 62, got prestigious recognition for his feat, winning the Abel Prize from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for providing a proof for Fermat’s Last Theorem.”

Physics on YouTube

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Some YouTube channels I check out from time to time, with a recommended example:

Smarter Every Day: Slow Motion Flipping Cat Physics.

Physics Girl: Look at the crazy pool vortex!

Minute Physics: Why It’s Impossible to Tune a Piano.

Veritasium: An Astronaut’s View of Earth, a chat with Chris Hadfield.