Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

Proving maths can be fun, Sara Jebril takes us through the rabbit-hole of Alex Bellos’ book.

Place one grain of wheat on the corner square of a chessboard and continue doubling across adjacent squares. “How much wheat would you need to fill the final square?”, Alex Bellos writes. “If you started counting a grain of wheat per second at the very moment of the Big Bang 13 billion or so years ago, then you would not even have counted up to a tenth of 263 by now”.
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Vultures: The Unsung Heroes of Death

Chyi Chung considers the position of vultures within the Indian food chain.

T he doongerwadi seems an inconspicuous stone tower raised on a plinth. But from their flight in the sky, its roofless interior becomes exposed. The bodies of men, women and children are laid out in three carved, concentric circles surrounding a pit. They swoop down and devour the corpses in a matter of hours. They are efficient: the bodies are picked clean to the bone for depositing in the pit, before they take flight once more. They are the unsung heroes of death.
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Ludwig Prandtl: The Father of Modern Aerodynamics

Take smooth flights for granted? Siddharth Trivedi meets the man behind the mechanics.

Born in Freising, Germany in 1875, Ludwig Prandtl spent a significant portion of his childhood with his father due to his mother’s long term illness. A professor in engineering, his father was probably the reason Prandtl picked up his innate ability for scientific observation. He later utilised these same skills as he earned his PhD in Munich, and entered his first job in a factory where he designed a suction device as an equipment design engineer.
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Franklin’s fight for DNA

Rosalind Franklin was a forerunner in the preliminary research towards determining the structure of DNA. Her X-ray crystallography photos and corresponding mathematical data led to the discovery of the helical structure of DNA.

These results set out the basis for many further studies, including the well-known discoveries by Watson and Crick. Controversy over Franklin’s contributions to Watson and Crick’s work has been the subject of debate continuing to this day.
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Star Wars

Is space the final frontier of warfare? Siddharth Trivedi explores whether the offensive capabilities of space infrastructure will be needed one day.

The Star Wars franchise is close to the hearts of many around the world for depicting adventurous stories of love and loss throughout a fictional galaxy. The iconic series has continued to wow audiences since the release of A New Hope (1977) in its portrayal of epic space battles, featuring dogfights between the futuristic X-Wing and the sleek TIE Fighters.
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Materials For a Greener Tomorrow!

Kit Béhard finds that nanofoams, Stanene and Shrilk may be the keys to a sustainable future.

Goodbye Plastic?

Plastics are arguably the most important material of the 20th century. Since the invention of the first synthetic plastic in 1907 they’ve been used in everything from toys and packaging, to electronics and transportation. The reason for the versatility and wide use of plastics is that they are flexible, strong and cheap.
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Visualising the Future with Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has become an exciting new piece of technology and is quickly evolving. William Richardson looks into how virtual reality may change how we work and live in the future.

Virtual reality (VR), following the trend in most technology, is likely to become integrated into our lives, whether that be on the commute to work, in the home or professionally. But what applications will VR have in the future and how will it change how we work and live?
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Blockchain: A Public Ledger for a Global World

Marion Cromb interviews Arifa Khan, an advocate for Blockchain, a pioneering new way to bank, buy and transfer property.

Arifa Khan is the Managing Director of Genius Incubator, which raises investment funding for businesses, and is the founder of Fintech Storm, a monthly series of talks on innovations in the financial technology sector. She has 15 years’ experience in the financial and investment banking industry, and has an MBA and a B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering.
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Mind Reading: The Science Behind the Superpower

Will it be possible to read minds in the future? Sophie Dixon examines the current research and future possibilities of mind reading.

Mind reading, the phenomena that has for so long been considered a fantasy, is becoming a more realistic possibility. While mind reading devices for casual communication are still a long way off, the ability to translate a person’s brain activity into written text, a process known as neurotelepathy, has already been achieved.
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