Category Archives: Mathematics

Infinity is weird… even in infinity mirrors!

Even very simple optics can reveal very interesting and surprising phenomena, if one looks carefully enough!  I was recently looking into the optics of a so-called “infinity mirror”, which in its simplest incarnation is simply two parallel mirrors on opposite … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Optics | 43 Comments

Jennifer Ouellette’s The Calculus Diaries

Calculus plays a rather paradoxical role in modern society: much of our modern technology and science depends upon it, but amongst the general public it is feared, even despised, and treated almost as magic. This is really a problem, as … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics, Physics | 3 Comments

Infinite series are weird — redux!

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the mathematics of infinite series, and how weird such series can be, considering in particular the behavior of “conditionally convergent series”.  A recent post at Built on Facts … Continue reading

Posted in ... the Hell?, Mathematics | 10 Comments

The Time Axis by Henry Kuttner

The more I read of Henry Kuttner, the more ashamed I am that I didn’t read all of his works long ago!  Henry Kuttner (1915-1958) was a versatile writer of pretty much every genre of weird fiction imaginable: science fiction, … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure fiction, Mathematics, Weird fiction | 6 Comments

Abramowitz and Stegun online!

Abramowitz and Stegun is a classic reference book which contains all sorts of information about special functions and their integrals.  If you’ve ever needed to reference something on the road and don’t have your copy with you, you will be … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics | 7 Comments

Infinite series are weird!

I’m in the mood to do something a little more ‘math-y’!  A few weeks ago, Tyler at PowerUp did a nice post about the divergence of the harmonic series, and that got me thinking about the weirdness of infinite series.  … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics | 18 Comments

Spot the math errors!

Via StumbleUpon, I came across this short text page which lists three mathematical ‘proofs’ which seem to violate common sense, listed below.  The first is: The second one is: The third one is: Each of these proofs is (intentionally) wrong!  … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics | 84 Comments