Below you can see images from the fifth edition of the Museum of Curiosity, featuring Sir Jonathan Miller, Marcus du Sautoy and Philip Ball. As John Lloyd explains this isn’t a place for desiccated medieval shoes or rows of moth-eaten stuffed squirrels. We don’t care whether something is old or rare or priceless or “important” or not … as long as it makes you rub your eyes, scratch your head or stroke your chin. Or, as the Museum’s curator Bill Bailey likes to put it: “The Museum Of Curiosity is a great big, hungry baby suckling on the teat of Knowledge.”
The Monster is a group of mathematical permutations containing 808 017 424 794 512 875 886 459 904 961 710 757 005 754 368 000 000 000 elements: that’s more numbers than there are particles in the sun. One, more accessible, way of thinking about this group is as a geometrical figure: a giant symmetrical snowflake in 196,883 dimensions. The Monster Group could be useful because it fits nicely into one version of string-theory that requires the universe to exist in 26 dimensions. This image shows a Leech lattice - the symmetries of the Leech lattice are at the heart of generating the Monster (image courtesy of Hal Switkay).