Eddie Woo is an Aussie Maths teacher who runs his own Youtube Channel. So popular is this channel in October 2015, Woo won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Innovation in Science and Mathematics. This youtube clip won’t tell you where you will use surds, but it does something magical.

It compares surds to different kinds of music to help students understand why mathematicians go crazy over the concept of surds. This clip tells why maths is soooooo special. There is no guesswork or fake information in this maths. Maths must be accurate. And surds demonstrate this point. (Look for the 5 min mark)

Will you use surds in real life?

Maybe. Probably, not. But surds are used in mathematical programs that demand accuracy. eg. engineering skyscrapers, building satellite dishes, and even in video games. But you won’t see them. Like so much mathematics surds will be hidden in some algorithm.

Here are two Examples:

1. The Golden Ratio:

Often written a 1:1.61 the Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Sequence appears in art and nature and has an aesthetic appeal to the eye, but the accurate ratio is:

2. The Quadratic Function

Satellite dishes, headlights, torches, and bridges all designed using the parabolic arc. The parabola is defined by the quadratic function and sometimes solving for x produces an irrational no. namely a surd. Rounding off can introduce inaccuracies that can become more dramatic when scaled up to the sie of, say, a bridge.

3. The Golden Ratio in Music

Mozart arranged his piano sonatas so that the number of bars in the development and recapitulation divided by the number of bars in the exposition would equal approximately 1.618, the Golden Ratio. Find more @ CLASSIC FM.

Back to Mozart.

In the above diagram, C is the sonata’s first movement as a whole, B is the development and recapitulation, and A is the exposition.

And here is Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in C Major as an example. Can you hear the Golden Ratio. Not really. But it’s there.

The DART(Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission was launched on Nov. 23, 2021, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

It is the size of a small vending machine and it has been travelling through space for 10 months.

Here is the sensational pairs team from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

But why do ice skaters spin so fast?

Here is the math!

REASON 1:

Well, mathspiggies, the girl in this video is right. Angular momentum remains constant unless external forces are applied.

L = mvr

L = angular momentum

v = linear velocity

r = separation of object

Louisa Barama, USA

Let’s have a look at this equation:

The fastest spin on ice skates was achieved by Natalia Kanounnikova (Russia) with a maximum rotational velocity of 308 RPM (rotations per minute) at Rockefeller Centre Ice Rink, New York, USA on 27 March 2006. See Guinness Book of Records.

Record spin : v_{r} = 308 RPM

Other spins include:

Mao Asada, Japan, triple Axel

Triple Axel spin v_{r} = 220 – 280 RPM

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Maximum Triple Axel spin v_{r} = 402 RPM

Skaters can spin faster during a triple axel jump because there is no friction from the ice slowing their spin.

To complete a quad axel, it’s estimated that the skater would have to rotate in the air at:

Now, mathspiggies, you must separate Linear Velocity (v_{1} ) from Angular Velocity (v_{r} ). Linear Velocity is measured in m/sec ie. it is the speed of, say, a skaters foot around the circle. Angular Velocity is measured in either RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) or degrees or Radians per minute. Ie. It is the rate of spin. We can’t judge how many m/sec a skaters foot is moving in a circle. We can only see how fast they spin. In other words, we see their Angular Velocity. When a skaters foot is in the Camel position that foot travels in a very big circle.

But when that same foot is in a Triple Axel postion it moves in a very, very small circle.

Patrick Chan, Canada, Camel Spin

Patrick Chan, Canada, Triple Axel

By halving the radius, firstly, a skater’s Linear Velocity doubles due to the conservation of angular momentum.

Then, secondly, by halving the radius the circumference of the circle moved by , say, the skaters foot is halved.

Overall, by doubling the velocity around the circle and halving the circumference a skater increases their rotational velocity by a factor of 4.

While air resistance has little impact on aerial skiers it is a significant factor used by ski jumpers to increase their jump distance.

The significant maths for ski jumpers is therefore X-section area.

Here is the jump at Pyeong Chang, 2018. Just imagine going down that at top speed!!!

A ski jumper is set to jump in Pyeongchang.

Casey Larson USA Pyeong chang 2018

Ski jumpers increase their speed going down the ramp by reducing their X-section area:

Lindsey Van, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel

Once they leave the ramp, ski jumpers try to increase their X-section area like Ski Divers to slow their vertical fall. But they have to land safely so they keep their skis at a minimum angle.

Abby Hughes, USA, practicing in a wind tunnel.

Abby Hughes, USA, in the air

Here are the X-section areas for Abby Hughes*:

Here is the formula for Air Resistance of Drag:

D = ½CApv^{2}

Where C is the drag coefficient or constant, which depends on the shape and spin of an object. It is found by testing the object in a wind tunnel.

As Abby Hughes has tripled her X-section area in the air, she will have tripled the vertical drag during her jump. This will slow here decent.

*Mathspig calculated the X-section area by the old fashioned method of counting squares and rounding off the final count. Mathspig sized the two pics of Abby Huges so that her head was the same size in both pictures.

Here is the x-y graph for different launch angles.

trajectory wired magazine

You can go to this page for complete calculations. Aerial skiers twist and turn but their CENTRE OF GRAVITY must follow this graph. More on centre of Gravity at The Great Back Pack Attack ie.

The centre of gravity of Aerial Skiers must follow a

The lethal dose for caffeine is about 150 milligrams per kg of body weight. While the average person’s caffeine consumption is around 200 milligrams a day, the Mayo Clinic advises against exceeding 500 to 600 milligrams per day.

This work titled Timing is Everything is by street artist ABOVE in London.

You may want this much energy but be warned, energy drinks can kill.

It would take a ridiculously huge number of ANGRY WOMBAT energy drinks to kill a 14 year old weighing, say, 48 kg. Nevertheless, some kids are more sensitive to caffeine than others and then much lower levels of consumption of energy drinks can be fatal.

See Death by Caffeine: The Maths Part 2 METRIC

Here is the work (see below) TIMING IS EVERYTHING by street artist ABOVE in London showing the timing.

The lethal dose for caffeine is about 68 milligrams per lb of body weight. Average consumption of caffeine is about 200 milligrams a day. The Mayo Clinic advises against exceeding 500 to 600 milligrams per day.

This work titled Timing is Everything is by street artist ABOVE in London.

You may want this much energy but be warned, energy drinks can kill.

It would take a ridiculously huge number of ANGRY WOMBAT energy drinks to kill a 14 year old weighing, say, 110 lb. Nevertheless, some kids are more sensitive to caffeine than others and then much lower levels of consumption of energy drinks can be fatal.

See Death by Caffeine:The Math Part 2 USA UNITS

Here is the work (see below) TIMING IS EVERYTHING by street artist ABOVE in London showing the timing.