Awesome Math

The Double Pendulum Fractal

The Double Pendulum Fractal

A pendulum with two pivot points is one of the more entertaining mechanisms to watch in action as it descends into chaos. Sam Maksimovich plotted the changes in the two pendulums’ angles and assigned a unique color to each point. As the graph evolved, it turned into a cool piece of fractal art.

32-Point Pendulum

32-Point Pendulum

Mathematician mc2 shows off a neat digital simulation that shows how a string with 32 balls hung from it might behave when swung like a pendulum. It starts out smoothly enough, but as they slow down, chaotic movements bring the orbs closer to the fulcrum. We’d love to see how this looks in the real world.

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Metric Paper & Everything in the Universe

Metric Paper & Everything in the Universe

Unlike US paper sizes, metric paper sizes like A3 and A4 can be folded into quarters to make smaller standard size sheets. CGP Grey explains the satisfying math of this paper sizing standard, then zooms in and out to see how it relates to the exponential nature of the universe.

Byte Size Comparison

Byte Size Comparison

It’s estimated that the amount of data stored on the Internet as of 2020 was around 40 zettabytes. If you can’t count that high, MetaBallStudios is here to provide some perspective on the relative size of various data measurements, envisioning a single byte as a 1-millimeter cube, and scaling up from there.

Wireframe Fractal Zoom

Wireframe Fractal Zoom

Maths Town teamed up with fellow fractal fanatic Yann Lby to create this hypnotic visual made up of colorful wireframes. For math geeks, the pattern starts as a 2D Mandelbrot fractal but uses its iteration data to project a vertical axis. Blow it up full screen dim the lights, get ready to enter a hypnotic trance.

The Biggest Numbers

The Biggest Numbers

Millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions, septillions… these kind of large numbers are really hard to wrap your mind around. The guys at Riddle attempt to put some of these numbers in perspective using real world examples of things that occur in such quantities.

Unsolvable Computer Problems

Unsolvable Computer Problems

Computers are pretty capable these days. And while most problems boil down to a series of mathematical computations, Tom Scott points out that there are some kinds of abstract problems that even the smartest programmers with the most powerful supercomputers can’t figure out.

Fizzy Lifting Math

Fizzy Lifting Math

Among the many memorable scenes in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was the one where Charlie and Grandpa Joe steal Fizzy Lifting Drinks. While it’s impossible that sipping a little soda could lift a human, Kyle Hill of Because Science figured out how much gas it would have actually taken to send Charlie sky high.

Gold Fractal Zoom

Gold Fractal Zoom

If you enjoyed Maths Town’s hypnotic fractal zoom video, here’s another one with a very different aesthetic. Rather than filling our eyeballs with vibrant colors, this one is filled with soothing mathematical structures dipped in shiny gold.

Humble Pi

Humble Pi

Matt Parker’s book Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World tells tales of the catastrophic consequences of mathematical errors in everything from architecture, to sweepstakes, to air traffic control systems. Perhaps it’ll be the kick in the pants you need to actually pay attention in math class.

The Sound of Sorting

The Sound of Sorting

Computers use a variety of different algorithms to sort items into order. In this mesmerizing clip by programmer Timo Bingmann, we not only see how six different sorting algorithms bring order to chaos, but hear them as well.

Engineering with Origami

Engineering with Origami

While you might think that origami was exclusively an art form, engineers are taking inspiration from the paper-folding craft to create innovative designs that can shape-shift to fit objects to into smaller spaces, and enable compact mechanisms, while decreasing the number of parts used. Veritasium explains.

The Guy Who Hacked the Lottery

The Guy Who Hacked the Lottery

You have a better chance of being struck by lightning multiple times than winning a big lottery these days. But a couple of decades back, Stefan Mandel figured out that depending on the size of a lottery’s jackpot, if you bought every single combination, you’d be guaranteed a win. He just had to figure out how to buy them all.

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Geode Jigsaw Puzzles

Geode Jigsaw Puzzles

21st century design shop Nervous System uses computer simulations to generate laser-cut plywood puzzles inspired by the crystalline structure of sliced geodes. Each puzzle has unique variations in its image, shape, and pieces. In 180-piece and 370-piece variants.

Chalk of Champions

Chalk of Champions

You’d think that chalk would be chalk, but it turns out that some of the brightest scholars on the planet believe that Hagoromo Fulltouch chalk is magical in some way. The Japanese chalk is said to not only write more smoothly and elegantly, but possess some mystical qualities.

Patterns of the Universe Coloring Book

Patterns of the Universe Coloring Book

Alex Bellos and Edmund Harris’ wonderful coloring book is designed for kids and adults who are fascinated with patterns, geometry, or mathematics. It’s packed with dozens of intricate and soothing designs to help keep your mind distracted from the day’s woes.

The Birthday Paradox

The Birthday Paradox

Even though there are 365 days in a year there’s a 50% chance that two people in a group of 23 will share the same birthday. Increase the number of people to 75 and there’s nearly a 100% chance of a match. How can that be? Kevin of Vsauce2 explains the math.

The Ham Sandwich Theorem

The Ham Sandwich Theorem

You’d think that when you say you want half a sandwich, it would simply take a straight cut down the middle to get your 50/50 share. But Numberphile explains how it’s not quite that simple of a task if you really want exactly half. Now how to apply theory to reality…

The Galton Board

The Galton Board

Tim from Grand Illusions shows off a desktop plaything that statistics and math geeks will love. It uses a funnel, pegs, and hundreds of tiny steel beads to demonstrate the nature of probability and randomness. You can buy one for yourself here or on Amazon.

Eggstatic

Eggstatic

Check out these patterned Easter eggs which create the illusion of movement when rotated in front of a strobe. The mathematical images were calculated with MATLAB and drawn with an EggBot. AA4CC produced a similar effect with a laser and photochromic paint.

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The Pi Bike

The Pi Bike

In tribute to the popular mathematical constant, designers Martijn Koomen and Tadas Maksimovas decided to see if they could turn an illustration by Yau Hoong into an real world object – a functional carbon fiber bike that looks like the symbol for Pi.

Arcade Scam Science

Arcade Scam Science

After using science and math to point out all the ways in which the decks are stacked against you at carnival games, engineer Mark Rober is back to show us how coin-operated arcade prize games aren’t any better.

Fraktaal

Fraktaal

Digital artist Julius Horsthuis calls his short “fantasy sci-fi story without a story.” What makes his eye-popping film even more amazing is that the structures and planets were generated procedurally, using fractal math. The soundtrack by David Levy seals the deal.

Math vs Coincidence

Math vs Coincidence

Vox shares an anecdote from math professor Joe Mazur’s book Fluke. It’s about a seemingly miraculous reunion between a lady and her book. Mazur points out that investigation and statistics will reveal that such coincidences are not as rare as we think.

The Calculus of Bad Driving

The Calculus of Bad Driving

Math (and Sharpie) lover Vi Hart explores another practical application for calculus, as she explores the mathematics and physics behind drivers who ruin our days on a regular basis. It turns out that these stupid drivers just need to improve their math skills.

Mathpix for iOS

Mathpix for iOS

Mathpix uses your iOS device’s camera to detect mathematical equations, even handwritten ones. It will then instantly solve the equation and show you the solution step by step, as well as the equation’s graph if possible. Android version coming soon.

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