Birth Of A Theorem

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01The Most Beautiful Equation In The World2015030920150310 (R4)

Rock-star mathematician Cédric Villani's magical mystery tour through the world of mathematics.

He describes the journey which sees him wrestling with and taming a new theorem that will win him the most coveted prize in his field.

Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness. His story is one of courage and partnership, elation and despair.

His account unlocks what goes on inside the head of a mathematician and captures where inspiration comes from. Blending science with history, biography with myth, Villani conjures up a cast of mathematical greats including the omnipresent Einstein and Villani's personal hero, John Nash.

Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Gemma Jenkins

Cédric Villani is a French mathematician who has received many international awards for his work. In 2010 he was awarded the Fields Medal, the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation.

Often called 'the mathematicians' Nobel Prize', it is awarded every four years and is viewed by some as the highest honour a mathematician can achieve.

French mathematician Cedric Villani's magical mystery tour through the world of maths.

02Landau Damping: The Cold, Unattainable Beauty2015031020150311 (R4)

Rock-star mathematician Cédric Villani's quest to tame a new theorem continues.

Villani relishes months of uninterrupted research at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study.

Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Gemma Jenkins.

Cedric Villani relishes months of uninterrupted research at Princeton.

03Breakthroughs And Setbacks2015031120150312 (R4)

Rock-star mathematician Cédric Villani's quest to tame a new theorem continues.

A series of breakthroughs and set-backs as the proof of Landau damping remains elusive.

Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Gemma Jenkins.

04Eureka2015031220150313 (R4)

Rock-star mathematician Cédric Villani's quest to tame a new theorem continues.

Rejection by prestigious journal Acta Mathematica proves to be a turning point.

Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Gemma Jenkins.

Rejection by prestigious journal Acta Mathematica proves to be a turning point for Cedric.

05The Fields Medal2015031320150314 (R4)

Villani learns he has been awarded the most coveted prize in mathematics.

Rock-star mathematician Cédric Villani's quest to tame a new theorem continues.

Villani learns he's been awarded the most coveted prize in mathematics, the Fields Medal.

Read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

Translated by Malcolm DeBevoise

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Gemma Jenkins.