The Science of Wobbly Tables

the science of wobbly tablesNEW SCIENTIST

In this year’s holiday edition of New Scientist, I report the definitive proof that math — even the kind of math Euclid would be proud of — can make this world a better place. No longer will we lean on our pic-nic tables having to fear the nefarious spillage of our wine: Mathematicians and physicists have conjured up a fool-proof method to stabilize wobbly tables, and it always works. They have the mathematical proof of that.

My hope is that some day mathematicians will also find ways to solve — or at least explain — another one the world’s tragic geometric inconsistencies: Why the pieces of those Ikea bookshelves never seem to fit together.

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