Sad News for Comet Watchers

[This is a back-issue of one of this site’s newsletters]

The ancient Greeks told a story about Icarus, who wanted to fly. He glued feathers to his arms with wax, and flew – but flew too close to the sun. The wax melted, the feathers dropped, and Icarus fell to his death.

Six months ago, we were told about a coming “Comet of the Century”, comet ISON. If things had played out differently, it might have been brighter than the full moon in the dawn skies around now.

Continue reading Sad News for Comet Watchers

Do You Know The Apple Man?

I was discussing some topic with a colleague, and he said “and what about the Apple Man?”

“The Apple Man?” I asked.

Apparently, in German (my colleague hails from Germany) Apple Man, or Apfelmännchen, is the word used for the Mandelbrot Set.

Continue reading Do You Know The Apple Man?

Benoît Mandelbrot – Rest In Peace

Benoît Mandelbrot has passed away.

Mandelbrot is one of the few mathematicians whose contributions – at least some of them – can be immediately recognised and appreciated by a number of non-mathematicians. His name is attached to the now famous Mandelbrot set, beautiful pictures of which are immediately recognizable, and stunningly beautiful.

Continue reading Benoît Mandelbrot – Rest In Peace