The weird world of one-sided objects

A Mobius strip. Credit: cosma/shutterstock.com You have most likely encountered one-sided objects hundreds of times in your daily life – like the universal symbol for recycling, found printed on the backs of aluminum cans and plastic bottles. This mathematical object is called a Mobius strip. It has fascinated environmentalists, artists, engineers, mathematicians and many others…

Sir James Mirrlees obituary

Probably the finest moment in the working life of Sir James Mirrlees came in 1968 when, he recalled, “I finally cracked the optimal tax problem … it came in a flash and was very satisfactory.” Mirrlees, who has died aged 82, arrived at his conclusions about taxation in the middle of Harold Wilson’s government, when…