Electronic instrument maker Elias Jarzombek created this unique synthesizer that looks like an abacus. The otherworldly sounds it makes are controlled by sliding and spinning its triangular “beads” on metal bars, along with turning its side dials. Read more about the Abacusynth on Elias’ website.
Fractal art can be beautiful, hypnotic, and colorful. But with the proper arrangement of pixels, these mathematical patterns can also be dark and downright unsettling. Motion designer Chris Lavelle’s short fractal animation Creation 1 is especially disturbing, especially for those who suffer from trypophobia.
Mathematician and creator Yosuke Ikeda invented this glorious little plaything which uses a series of ramps to move marbles around as you push on it. Multiple AlgoLoops can be combined for more complex patterns. The project’s Kickstarter already has closed, but hopefully we’ll be able to buy these soon.
Frustrated by missing shots on a regular pool table, The Q went ahead and built himself a special kind of pool table where the ball goes in the pocket virtually every time. The trick is its elliptical shape, which sets up the perfect bank shot at every angle. This video from Numberphile explains the geometry at work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…