Here’s a really interesting mathematical explanation on how the “catch a dollar” trick works. You know the trick: a person holds a bill vertically and says you can keep the bill if you can catch the dollar with your fingers when it drops. You never catch it. It’s really hard! Why?
The story of how zero came to be and the history of math is actually quite fascinating! They should have taught us that instead of actual math in high school, if you ask me. Thankfully, Hannah Fry tells us in the animation story below all we need to know. There’s fascinating bits about how the number system (and zero)…
Get enough dots together and your faulty eyeballs start seeing things. With random dot patterns, a simple move of the dots by a few degrees can create trippy concentric circles or wild swirls that move all around the paper. With a more uniform grid of dots, the pattern looks like you’re jumping through a portal into…
This one’s a doozy in that there is a lot going on. The goal is simple, you need to escape a collapsing tunnel with a group of nine people (including yourself). It’s all the other variables that confuse things.
Here’s another classic math riddle for you to prune your brain on a little bit: if people were lined up from tallest to shortest (meaning a person can see everything in front of them) and all wearing black or white hats, can you figure out which color hat you were wearing even if you had no idea how many black or…
Riddles can be fun but can also be really stressful when you start to feel your decently well-wrinkled brain shrivel into a prune. But hey! Tease the brain and the satisfaction of solving it outweighs the unnecessary stress added to your life, right? Right! Here’s the classic bridge riddle in animated form from Ted-Ed…
Everyone who has played poker or even Go Fish knows the basics of shuffling cards. There's the riffle shuffle (combining two halves of a decks and making a bridge), overhand shuffling (quickly splicing cards from the deck back into the deck) and regular ol' mixing all the cards up on a table. Which way is the best?
I've seen the future and it is math less and it is awesome and it is this PhotoMath app that solves math problems just by pointing your phone's camera at them. It's like a cross between a text reading camera, a supremely sophisticated calculator and well, the future. Point and solve and never do math again.
Bagels are delicious literally no matter which way you slice them—but are they more delicious when cut into a "mathematically perfect" shape? Stony Brook University's engineering professor George W. Hart thinks he has found the magic formula.
Recreational mathemusician Victoria Hart—aka Vi Hart—gives overwhelming (and fun!) evidence that clearly demonstrates that Pi is a stupidly common number and the fascination of people with this number is just dumb.
If you're curious about what would happen if a perfectly hit cue ball hit a perfectly aligned pool rack perfectly in the middle, well here's what it will look like. It's mathematically perfect. Not even the best pool players in the world, magnet breakers or robots can even get it to look like this.
Here's a fun little brain wrinkle pinch for all you non-math people out there (that should be everyone in the world*): the sum of all natural numbers, from one to infinity, is not a ridiculously big number like you would expect but actually just -1/12. Yes, the sum of every number from one to infinity is some weird…
Math, it's so boring. Said everyone anytime anyone ever asked them to do basic arithmetic. But it doesn't have to be! Yann Pineill & Nicolas Lefaucheux of Parachutes.tv has dispelled the notion that math is boring by making it look beautiful. Yes, beautiful. And a little bit like seeing The Matrix.
The beauty of math and numbers and formulas and equations and so forth is that they can work without you ever understanding how the hell they work. What seems like complete randomness is actually just a math problem! Like this slick trick with a deck of cards. Take twenty or so cards and flip over five cards face…
We think that, one day, with enough computational power and knowledge, we will be able to create an accurate model of weather or the human brain or any real world object or situation, thus gaining useful insight into the past, present or future. But as Esther Inglis-Arkell explains on io9, that's impossible:
Very, very big. Like way bigger than the new World Trade Center big. Like almost double the world's tallest tower big. If you combined all the iPhones ever sold into a single gigantic monolith of a phone, it'd be 5,059 feet tall and 2,846 feet across. Ridiculous!
A completely unknown guy in the world of math has made a breakthrough discovery that will help us understand numbers better. Basically, a guy who once struggled to find a job and had to work at Subway, is helping math geniuses understand the twin prime conjecture, one of math's oldest problems.
There are probably a lot of things you learned in school that you don't even remember, but the "order of operations"—also known as PEMDAS—is likely to be one that stuck with you; you'll mess up even simple equations without it. The catch? Well, it's wrong.