IMA Maths Imperium

In the IMA Maths Imperium you will find a variety of practical activities that are fun, engaging, fascinating and puzzling but also based in maths.

The Harmonograph can draw beautiful images simply by harnessing two pendulums, but an electronic circuit could produce the same pictures. What links the two? Just how would you route the Olympic Torch relay? The Travelling Salesman activity will give you a clue. What is a minimal surface and why do the beautiful soap films formed on a wire frame naturally produce them?

Mathematical puzzles come in all sizes. A simple canoe shaped piece of plastic will happily rotate clockwise but, when spun the other way, will shake violently and reverse to its preferred direction. Why? A steel mushroom that, when spun, will flip and rotate on its stem... The truth is that mathematics can model nature. And this fact underpins the world we see around us. Almost everything made has maths in its design. It's why we know it works and why we know it's safe. And of course, when you fly the Space Shuttle, you also know it's fun!

Activity information

Subject(s) Mathematics,Physics
Age range All ages
Format Interactive stand
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