The Simpsons and Fermat’s Last Theorem

Today I woke up and I saw a facebook post with a video regarding the math underlying the popular animated series “The Simpsons”. I realized I had never notice that subtle numbers that usually are on the background. What is funny about them is that they have a mathematical purpose i.e. they are not random numbers. They are, indeed, numbers chosen by their rare characteristics. [1] So here is the video…

The video was made by the London Science Museum and you can check their site, it seems very interesting. [2]

Returning to “The Simpsons”, I felt I hadn’t understood it well so I searched and I found out this explanatory video.

Now I finally had understood, but I believe that many if us never heard about the Fermat’s last theorem so I decided to put here another video.

I will let interesting references, try to watch them. [3] I hope you learnt something new because I learnt that even an animated series can make fun of math… 😀


References and further reading.

[1] – (audiovisual reference) Simon Singh, “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets” | Talks at Google

[2] – The mathematical secrets of The Simpsons and Futurama – London Science Museum

[3] – (audiovisual reference) BBC Horizon – Fermat’s Last Theorem

A Universe From Nothing – lecture

This summer I finally managed to saw the movie “The Unbelievers”, a movie that I highly recommend (whatever your beliefs might be). After I watch it I made some research about Lawrence Krauss because I had never heard his name. I found a lecture he gave about the Universe and the current theories about it.

Krauss is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project. [1] He is a theoretical physicist who beseech explanations for cosmology. Particularly devoted to the themes of the begin of the Universe and it’s ending.
I’m fascinated about astrophysics and I have studied a bit of it (through minutephysichs, ed.ted and wikipedia) so for me it was an awesome way of giggling and have a good time learning more and remember about dark energy, dark matter, cosmic microwave background, etc… [2]
All this for saying that you might want to study a little (e.g. wikipedia), in order to fully understand the talk.
Hope you enjoy it and learn something!


References and further reading.

[1] – Lawrence M. Krauss – Wiki

[2] – WMAP – Nasa

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

This is my last article on the Sun theme. I learned a lot doing the researches and I’m happy with the final result, 6 posts (including this one) with interesting new “stuff” to share! I would like some feedback so comments are more than welcomed!

Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

As I was researching this week theme I revisited one TED talk that made me gain confidence and It’s one of the reasons why I’m here today sharing what I everyday learn. This TED talk was made by Taylor Wilson (the second most young person to develop a nuclear fusion reactor).

Nuclear fusion is the process in which two or more atomic nuclei collide at a very high-speed, they merge together and form a heavier nucleus (with more energy) this happens because when they join into one single entity they lose mass that turns in energy. [1] [2]

In the core of the Sun, nuclear fusions take place hence releasing energy in enormous proportions making photons that once on the outside of the sun are mostly in the range of infrared/visible light/ultraviolet. [3]

I continued looking for this amazing teenagers for making this post and one news stroke me, a british boy had surpass this deed. Jamie Edwards became the youngest teenager to build a nuclear fusion reactor with 13 yo he beaten the achievement of 14 yo Taylor. [4]

At the end of that report there’s an announcement of an exhibit at the Imperial College London labeled “Set the controls for the heart of the Sun”, what clearly refers to the nuclear fusion happening at the Sun’s core. [5]

A little more about nuclear fusion… Nuclear fusion is still in research time, but it might one day get to another degree, the degree of supplying abundant and clean energy for all the planet. What is good for this source of energy is that it is much safer than the nuclear power plant energy created (nuclear fission) because it produces no high-level radioactive waste so It will not have the risk of disaster like the one in Chernobyl. [6]

A step to the future: A US$50 bilion project (building costs in July 2014) initiated in 2007 by 6 entities together (China, United States, Japan, European Union, India and South Korea) called ITER aims to create the first fusion power plant. [7]

Good News: Nowadays an experiment made in US changed the idea held that it took more energy for igniting fuel than the energy produced. (February 2014) [8]

Pink Floyd and the Sun

Pink Floyd, for those who never heard of them, are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Well I could talk more about them but I guess that music, more than words, expresses their path and singularity. [9] “Set the controls for the heart of the Sun” is a track from their second album A Saucerful of Secrets released in 1968 it deploys a psychedelic rock music, paced and full of spiritual force.

I strongly recommend you to listen this track…

In this manner I say “au revoir” and get ready for the next week theme…


References and further reading.

[1] – Nuclear fusion – Wiki

[2] – (audiovisual reference) Nuclear fusion – elearning

[3] – The Sun’s Structure and Nuclear Fusion – earthguide & see  “References and further reading” on this post

[4] – British schoolboy,13, becomes youngest to build nuclear fusion reactor – the telegraph

[5] – Set the controls for the heart of the Sun – CIFS’ Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit 2014

[6] – Chernobyl disaster – Wiki

[7]  – ITER & (audiovisual reference) ITER – in five minutes

[8] – Big leap for fusion: more energy produced that spent igniting fuel – arstechnica

[9] – Pink Floyd – Wiki & Pink Floyd Official Site