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The Story of Maths

Specials 2006

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  • 2006-01-01T21:00:00+00:00 on BBC Four
  • 60 mins
  • 1 hour, 0 mins (1 episode)
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary
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Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, escorts you through the most important of all intellectual disciplines. Mathematics is the Empress of the Sciences. Without her, there would be no physics, nor chemistry, nor cosmology. Any field of study depending on statistics, geometry, or any kind of calculation would simply cease to be. And then, there are the practical applications: without maths there’s no architecture. No commerce. No accurate maps, or time-keeping: therefore no navigation, nor aviation, nor astronomy. She is all-powerful: and she rules ruthlessly. Imperious and unyielding, mathematics brooks no dissent and tolerates no error. In an age of uncertainty, mathematics is the only discipline that generates knowledge that’s immutably, incontestably, and eternally true. In this landmark series of films for BBC FOUR.

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1 episode

Special 1 The Music of the Primes

  • 2006-01-01T21:00:00+00:00 — 60 mins

For more than 2,000 years, a mathematical riddle has baffled the world’s greatest minds. It’s a problem of such difficulty that it has tormented those brave enough to tackle it. Some have given up in despair. Others have been driven mad. Primes are fundamental to mathematics yet they seem to surface entirely randomly along the number line. But are the primes truly random or is there some hidden pattern? It’s the greatest unsolved problem of mathematics. In The Music of the Primes, Marcus du Sautoy investigates the fascinating story of great mathematicians who have all grappled with the problem of the primes

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