Tag Archives: maths

Financial Times Christmas Carol!

Away from my physics life I spend a lot of time singing. About 6 months ago I co-founded a choir. The development of the group has been phenomenally rapid, culminating in recording a new Christmas carol for the Financial Times, composed by the acclaimed baritone Roderick Williams. Do have a listen and let me know what you think!

I see mathematics and music as natural intellectual cousins. Both involve artistic creativity within certain constraints. As a researcher, I must learn the subject and find new concepts. As a musician I’ll certainly study the notes, but it’s that spark of original interpretation which brings the music alive.

If you liked the FT carol, have a listen to our other recent recording below!

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Back From Holiday

refreshed, revived and ready to start this blog in earnest. Alas, no real post today! Nevertheless I have been working behind the scenes putting the finishing touches to the necessary background material. Okay, it is more than a little dry, and probably terrifying to the uninitiated. Don’t worry – I won’t need to use all of it right away. It should serve as a touchstone (for me as much as you) to ensure that I’m doing everything on a firm mathematical footing.

Talking of well written introductory books, I feel obliged to join the long list of individuals who have publicly praised Roger Penrose’s great work, The Road to Reality. I’ve owned the volume for several years, dipped into it now and then, but only over the past seven days have I truly appreciated its depth and scope. Certainly a worthwhile investment if you are interested in science at a more than superficial level!

Finally, if you find yourself at a loss for entertainment any time in the next few days I’d heartily endorse the fantastic Beethoven Prom Series currently in progress. I had been a little skeptical about this rather ‘obvious’ choice of repertoire, but Baremboim’s expert musicianship has won me over. Also they are really good pieces, after all.

I promise a proper post tomorrow – we’ll be talking about Affine Varieties. They’re not as scary as they sound, honest!

So What Exactly Are We Doing Here?

Good afternoon. Over the next 12 weeks or so, this blog will grow into a collection of (mostly mathematical) ideas. If you’re at all interested in String Theory, Algebraic Geometry or Quantum Mechanics I should have something worthwhile to tell you. If you already don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry – I’ll attempt to make a great deal of what I write accessible to the diligent layman! I’ll start slowly and try not to lose people along the way. Hopefully this will end up being a cute introduction to a fascinating part of maths for people from all kinds of backgrounds.

The aim is to post about once a day, with the style being something between popular science and academic coursebook. I’ll try to tag posts accordingly, so it’s easy to tell what audience I’m pitching to. The first few days may be an extremely brief recap of some very foundational material to provide some explanation and background for non-mathematicians.

Occasionally I might discuss/opine/rant about other things, including music, sport, and just why we are getting quite so much rain. I hope this will provide a (necessary?) break from the maths. I’ll happily take requests for a post on a particular topic, but I can’t promise to become an instant expert.

Finally I can’t guarantee that everything I write will be entirely correct on first posting. Some of this material I’m learning for the first time myself, and it might take a couple of iterations before I fully grasp the concepts. If you think I’ve been unclear or don’t understand something, please do comment.

If you are still with me, well done! No more administrative faff, I promise! Have a couple of contrasting YouTube videos for your efforts, here and here.