You hear the musical saw. These mathematicians heard geometry.

A scientist who has studied falling playing cards, coiling rope and other phenomena has now analyzed what transforms a carpenter’s tool into a sonorous instrument.

Fired from brushing his daughter’s hair, a scientist uses math to detangle the problem

The Harvard professor formed a team to solve a riddle stumping many exasperated parents: What’s the most painless way to brush tangled hair?

The physics of a singing saw

Insights on centuries-old folk instrument is underpinned by a mathematical principle that may pave the way for high-quality resonators for sensing, electronics and more.

Tear-free brushing? All you need is math

Researchers develop a mathematical understanding of detangling that could be used for textile manufacturing, robotic hairdressers

Shape-Shifting Materials With Infinite Possibilities: Totimorphic Structural Materials Can Achieve Any Shape

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a shape-shifting material that can take and hold any possible shape, paving the way for a new type of multifunctional material that could be used in a range of applications, from robotics and biotechnology to architecture.

Physicists get under the skin of apple growth

Researchers in the US have used the physics of singularities to study the recess, or cusp, that forms around the stalk of an apple.

Constructing termite turrets without a blueprint

Researchers develop a mathematical model to explain the complex architecture of termite mounds

Self-excited dancing droplets

Platform could be used for self-cleaning surfaces and other applications

A Scientist Who Delights in the Mundane

From crumpled paper to termite mounds to three-sided coins, L. Mahadevan has turned the whole world into his laboratory.

Life from chaos

Researchers use geometry and dynamics to better understand tissue organization.