The Coastline of Britain- The Mathematics of Measuring the Unmeasurable- Dr Dan Jones

Watson Building - Lecture Theatre A (R15 on campus map)
Wednesday 27 November 2019 (19:00-20:00)

Rachel Burgess, Outreach & Schools Liaison Officer

A Birmingham Popular Maths Lecture from Dr Dan Jones.

Nature is wildly complex, but we can take solace in the fact that it is governed by simple rules and measurable quantities – or is it? The coastline paradox is the rather surprising observation that the perimeter of a land mass, such as Britain, does not have a well-defined length. In fact, by repeatedly increasing the accuracy of our measurements, the length of the coastline goes up and up with no obvious limiting quantity. So, what is a mathematician to do? Can there really exist a 2D shape with an infinite perimeter and a finite area? In this talk I will show that by using fractal geometry we can hope to tame these mathematical beasts. You’ve heard of the 4th dimension; we are about to enter the 1.21…th   dimension – enjoy the ride!

The Birmingham Popular Maths Lecture series runs in the Watson Building (School of Mathematics) on the last Wednesday of each month, arriving from 6.30pm onwards for a 7pm start.

The Birmingham Popular Mathematics Lectures are open to all members of the public and the University who are interested in the study of Mathematics. They are particularly suitable for those studying Mathematics at A Level and we also welcome advanced GCSE students. Young people are welcome on their own, with parents or with a school group.

Registration is not required, though those travelling in a minibus should get in touch to confirm parking.

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