It is now well over ten years since JRR Tolkien’s wonderful creation of Middle Earth was brought to the big screen by Sir Peter Jackson. One of the biggest triumphs of the film trilogy was the computer graphics, and particularly the character of Smeagol/Gollum.
This complex article delves into how such a character can be described by computer simulation. Mathematics really is hiding everywhere!
This article gives a brief outline of the mathematical description of the trajectory of a football, focussing upon a magnificent goal by Roberto Carlos in 1997. It explains that “the path of a sphere when it spins is a spiral.”
Although it cannot be claimed that Carlos used any equation to decide how to strike the ball, his brain must have been computing speeds, angles and distances whilst using past experience to judge how the ball would move in the air. More than that, his brain controlled his feet so perfectly that he was able to carry out the task.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
You can see the actual goal here 🙂
A colleague recently visited Ardnamurchan Lighthouse and took the following photo which shows the centre of gravity for different shaped lighthouses. It’s a lovely example of Mathematics being used in construction!
It’s a long video, and quirky in places, but it raises questions that must be contemplated seriously by serious mathematicians and philosophers. It’s also very beautiful!
Click here for this YouTube video.