...How mathematics turns up again and again in wonderful patterns within the natural world. My guest today, Marcus du Sautoy, professor of maths at Oxford and someone who has devoted many years to promoting popular maths on radio and tv in programmes like School of Hard Sums and Mind Games.
Today he was explaining the wonder of the Fibonacci numbers, and why bees are so clever to choose hexagons as their storage compartments within the honeycomb. What? You want me to elucidate? Sorry - you'll have to listen again!
And what of the amazing number 42?
To those who love The HitchHiker's Guide To The Galaxy, you'll know that 42 is The Answer... The Answer to The Question: what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?
Author Douglas Adams was always adamant that he simply plucked the number out of the air - but mathematicians are nowadays seeing that 42 is anything but an ordinary, or random, number. Its properties could be the key to the wonder of Primes.
Okay, I can't go further than that. You'll have to listen again, again.
But did you know, for instance, that:
(a) Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert died aged 42; they had 42 grandchildren and their great-grandson, Edward VIII, abdicated at the age of 42.
(b) The world's first book printed with movable type is the Gutenberg Bible which has 42 lines per page.
(c) On page 42 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry discovers he's a wizard.
(d) Lord Lucan's last known location was outside 42 Norman Road, Newhaven, East Sussex.
(e)Titanic was travelling at a speed equivalent to 42km/hour when it collided with an iceberg.
Oooh - one more - how about this one?
The result of the most famous game in English football - the world cup final of 1966 - was 4-2