Published August 28, 2014
Tags: Music, Pythagoras
Every pure musical tone has a frequency, the number of oscillations per second in the sound wave. Doubling the frequency corresponds to moving up one octave. A musical note consists of a base frequency or pitch, called the fundamental together with a series of harmonics, or oscillations whose frequencies are whole-number multiples of the fundamental frequency.
Continue reading ‘Temperamental Tuning’
Published August 21, 2014
Mathematics is coming to Life in a Big Way. This week’s That’s Maths in The Irish Times (TM051, or Search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com) is about the increasing importance of mathematics in the biological sciences.
Biological network modelled by Boris Kholodenko, SBI.
[Frosted vinyl print on wall of SBI boardroom in UCD]
Continue reading ‘Biomathematics: the New Frontier’
Published August 14, 2014
Tags: History, Set Theory
Do you recall coming across those diagrams with overlapping circles that were popularised in the ‘sixties’, in conjunction with the “New Maths”. They were originally introduced around 1880 by John Venn, and now bear his name.
Continue reading ‘Do you remember Venn?’
Left: Stained glass window at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge showing a Venn diagram. Right: John Venn (1834-1923) with signature [images Wikimedia Commons].
Published August 7, 2014
Tags: Mechanics, Physics
That’s Maths in The Irish Times this week (TM050, or Search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com) is about how a simple pendulum can demonstrate the rotation of the Earth.
Continue reading ‘“Come See the Spinning Globe”’
Reconstruction of Foucault’s demonstration. Original experiment in 1851. [Illustration (1902) from the cover of WIlliam Tobin’s book .]
Published July 31, 2014
Tags: Logic, Set Theory
Many of us recall the sense of wonder we felt upon learning that there is no biggest number; for some of us, that wonder has never quite gone away. It is obvious that, given any counting number, one can be added to it to give a larger number. But the implication that there is no limit to this process is perplexing.
Georg Cantor (1845 – 1918) around 1870 (left) and in later life (right).
Continue reading ‘Degrees of Infinity’
That’s Maths in The Irish Times this week (TM049, or Search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com) is about applications of computer aided design and computer aided manufacture to making dental crowns.
Continue reading ‘Digital Dentistry’
High-precision digitally-driven mill carving a dental crown from a solid ceramic block
[photo from www.sirona.com].