iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Stamp prices and the first maths book

Play now 10 mins

Stamp prices and the first maths book

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 07 April 2012

The Royal Mail says UK stamp prices are still among the best value in Europe, despite an imminent price rise. Tim Harford finds out whether this is true, and compares the price of postal services around the world.

Plus, he finds out how, after being invented by Indian mathematicians, modern numbers became established in the ancient Arab world and then journeyed on to Europe in what was essentially the first maths textbook ever written, Liber Abaci. Its author was Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci. Tim speaks to Keith Devlin, author of The Man of Numbers, to find out more.

Producer: Ruth Alexander

  • Maths


    Learning resources and online courses to improve maths skills including worksheets, games, tests and revision

    Read more on the BBC's Learning website
  • Which country has the most expensive postal charges?

    Which country has the most expensive postal charges?

    The price of postage is going up sharply in the UK, but it still won't be the most expensive place in the world to post a letter, or not quite. Which countries earn that dubious honour?

    Read more on the BBC News website



  1. Image for More or Less: Behind the Stats

    More or Less: Behind the Stats

    Tim Harford investigates numbers in the news. Numbers are used in every area of public debate. But…

  2. Image for Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford – in the company of Malcolm Gladwell, David Kilcullen and Gillian Tett – uses key…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss