Where in the world? The mathematics of navigation

In the eighteenth century sailors died without mathematics. For thousands of seafarers their lives depended on safe navigation at sea. Where in the world were you? The answer lay in the stars—and in mathematics.

Mathematics and aviation: the Handley Page ‘Gugnunc’

Without mathematics the dream of flight for the masses would have come crashing down to Earth. 

How does the economy work?

How a machine controlling the flow of water could model the economy

Florence Nightingale: the pioneer statistician

A revolutionary diagram which changed the presentation of statistics from tables to graphs

Modelling the oceans

How scientists developed an understanding of the intricate interplay between gravity, weather and the shape of the oceans to better predict storm surges

The power of computers

It is hard to imagine a world without computers, they are found in every part of our lives. It seems as if they can do anything—but how did we get to this?

Why, Robot?

Marvellous machines: early robots

Science Fiction and Robots

The world runs on time

How the railways synchronised our lives

The political power of a phone call

How the telephone helped to uphold human rights and freedom

Satellites bring the world into the living room

In 1967, the BBC used satellites to broadcast live images to millions of viewers worldwide

A computer in your pocket

Our phones have become versatile computing devices that most of us can't imagine life without.

Television’s breakthrough moment

Watching historical moments unfold on television is a routine part of modern life—but one royal celebration in particular cemented the TV set's place in our living rooms.

From calculation to communication: inventing the internet

In the 1970s, scientists and engineers imagined a world where information could be exchanged worldwide in the blink of an eye—and used their ingenuity to make it a reality.