Five Shapes

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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20040907

2/5 The Pyramid

In the second part of the series that looks at intriguing stories behind familiar shapes, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy turns to the pyramid. Egyptian mausoleums, the entrance to the Louvre in Paris and tetrahedral tea bags are well known, but this rather hierarchical shape is remarkably rare in the manufactured world. Look under the microscope however, and they're everywhere.

20040914

Marcus Du Sautoy looks at intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

3/5. The Sphere

Nature has no problem making them: raindrops are spheres not tears. But building a perfect sphere remains a challenge for architects and engineers.

20040928

The final programme in our series that explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes

The Blob

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy discovers that thanks to computer technology, cartoon characters, curvy cars, and blobby buildings are closely related.

20050919

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

1/5. The Cube

It's the ideal shape for packing and stacking, but when one supermarket put tomato soup in cube-shaped tin cans, no-one bought it. Perhaps this highly practical shape is just a little bit too perfect for mainstream taste.

20050920

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

2/5. The Pyramid

Egyptian mausoleums, the entrance to the Louvre in Paris and tetrahedral tea bags are well known, but this rather hierarchical shape is remarkably rare in the manufactured world. Look under the microscope however, and they're everywhere.

20050921

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

3/5. The Sphere

Nature has no problem making them: raindrops are spheres not tears. But building a perfect sphere remains a challenge for architects and engineers.

20050922

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

4/5. The Bagel

Today's shape is not only good enough to eat, it's the most important shape in maths today. Marcus du Sautoy explores why its a good shape for cooking dough, cracking codes and understanding space. Could the universe have a hole in the middle?

20050923

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy explores intriguing stories behind familiar shapes.

5/5. The Blob

Marcus discovers that thanks to computer technology, cartoon characters, curvy cars, and blobby buildings are closely related.

01The Cube2004083120050919

It's the ideal shape for packing and stacking, but when one supermarket put tomato soup in cube-shaped tin cans, no-one bought it.

Perhaps this highly practical shape is just a little bit too perfect for mainstream taste.

01The Cube2004083120050919

It's the ideal shape for packing and stacking, but when one supermarket put tomato soup in cube-shaped tin cans, no-one bought it.

Perhaps this highly practical shape is just a little bit too perfect for mainstream taste.

02The Pyramid2004090720050920

Marcus du Sautoy turns to the pyramid.

Egyptian mausoleums, the entrance to the Louvre in Paris and tetrahedral tea bags are well known, but this rather hierarchical shape is remarkably rare in the manufactured world.

Look under the microscope however, and they're everywhere.

02The Pyramid2004090720050920

Marcus du Sautoy turns to the pyramid.

Egyptian mausoleums, the entrance to the Louvre in Paris and tetrahedral tea bags are well known, but this rather hierarchical shape is remarkably rare in the manufactured world.

Look under the microscope however, and they're everywhere.

03The Sphere2004091420050921

Nature has no problem making them: raindrops are spheres not tears.

But building a perfect sphere remains a challenge for architects and engineers.

03The Sphere2004091420050921

Nature has no problem making them: raindrops are spheres not tears.

But building a perfect sphere remains a challenge for architects and engineers.

04The Bagel2004092120050922

This week's shape is not only good enough to eat, it's the most important shape in maths today.

Marcus du Sautoy explores why it's a good shape for cooking dough, cracking codes and understanding space.

Could the universe have a hole in the middle?

04The Bagel2004092120050922

This week's shape is not only good enough to eat, it's the most important shape in maths today.

Marcus du Sautoy explores why it's a good shape for cooking dough, cracking codes and understanding space.

Could the universe have a hole in the middle?

05 LASTThe Blob2004092820050923

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy discovers that thanks to computer technology, cartoon characters, curvy cars, and blobby buildings are closely related.

05 LASTThe Blob2004092820050923

Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy discovers that thanks to computer technology, cartoon characters, curvy cars, and blobby buildings are closely related.