Further Five Numbers

Episodes

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20050823

Simon Singh begins a new investigation into the history and merits some of the most special numbers in maths.

1. One is the root of all counting, but it turns out to be the most frequent first digit of any number. A deep law of mathematics declares that the universe of numbers cannot avoid the popularity of 1, and it is now proving a useful tool in spotting faked data and fraud.

20070730

Simon Singh investigates the history of the most special numbers in maths.

1/5. One is the root of all counting, but it turns out to be the most frequent first digit of any number. A deep law of mathematics declares that the universe of numbers cannot avoid the popularity of 1, and it is now proving a useful tool in spotting faked data and fraud.

20070731

Simon Singh investigates the history of the most special numbers in maths.

2/5. Two is the basis of all even numbers, but it is the idea of doubling that has established two as one of the most important tools in maths. Its power can never be underestimated, from the growth of computer speed to its role in some of the latest theories in the expansion of our universe.

20070801

Simon Singh investigates the history of the most special numbers in maths.

3/5. Six is a rare perfect number, once revered by ancient civilisations. But how is it that everyone is linked by just six social ties? The number is emerging as the key to understanding the nature of social networks and is offering new insights into helping us understand all sorts of other connections from electric power grids to nerve cell grouping in our brains.

20070802

Simon Singh investigates the history of the most special numbers in maths.

4/5. Newton's Gravitational Constant G has enormous significance for the entire universe.

20070803

Simon Singh investigates the history of the most special numbers in maths.

5/5. 1,729 is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two perfect cubes in two different ways. Mathematicians are seeking similar nunmbers as their properties hold the key to securing financial transactions over the internet.