Radio 4 Collections: Mathematics

This Collection contains programmes about Mathematics, broadcast since 2002.

Major series

Editions of In Our Time

  • ArchimedesArchimedes

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Archimedes. How did this Greek mathematician in the third century BC calculate Pi?

  • CalculusCalculus

    Examining the epic feud between Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz over who invented an astonishingly powerful new mathematical tool - calculus.

  • Fibonacci SequenceFibonacci Sequence

    In the 19th century the Fibonacci Sequence began to crop up time and again among the structures of the natural world, from the spirals on a pinecone to the petals on a sunflower.

  • Godel's Incompleteness TheoryGödel's Incompleteness Theory

    Gödel proved that there were some problems in maths that were impossible to solve and the implications of his work take us to the very edge of what we can know.

  • Imaginary NumbersImaginary Numbers

    In the sixteenth century, a group of mathematicians found a solution to a problem that had puzzled generations before them: a completely new kind of number.

  • Indian MathematicsIndian Mathematics

    Mathematics from the Indian subcontinent has provided foundations for much of our modern thinking on the subject.

  • MathematicsMathematics

    Discussing perceptions mathematics, the nature of mathematical ability, and what mathematics can show us about how life began, and how it might continue.

  • Negative NumbersNegative Numbers

    In 1759 the British mathematician Francis Maseres wrote that negative numbers 'darken the very whole doctrines of the equations...'

  • PiPi

    Archimedes calculated Pi to the equivalent of 14 decimal places and today we know its first 1.4 trillion digits.

  • Prime NumbersPrime Numbers

    For nearly two and a half thousand years, mathematicians have struggled to write a rule to predict the sequence of prime numbers.

  • ProbabilityProbability

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the strange mathematics of probability where heads or tails is a simple question with a far from simple answer.

  • PythagorasPythagoras

    The central Pythagorean idea was that number had the capacity to explain the truths of the world. This was as much a mystical belief as a mathematical one.

  • Random and PseudorandomRandom and Pseudorandom

    Random numbers have become enormously useful to statisticians, computer scientists and cryptographers. But true randomness is difficult to find.

  • Renaissance MathsRenaissance Maths

    European mathematics went from being an art that would unmask the eternal shapes of geometry to a science that could track the manifold movements and changes of the real world.

  • ZeroZero

    Discussing the strange and uniquely beguiling qualities of nothing. How was zero invented? And what role does it play in mathematics today?

Radio 4 Collections

Radio 4 Collections

Listen to a wide range of programmes from the Radio 4 Archives.

Maths Podcasts

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Science Podcasts

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