The lost chord

For anyone else who didn’t manage to make it to the British Science Festival in Aberdeen this summer, even with the promise of mathematical talks to entice you, here’s a nice wee video in which Dr Kevin Houston of the University of Leeds explains how Fourier analysis can help identify the mysterious opening chord of the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night. Cynics may not be surprised to hear that one can get quite convincing results by missing out Ringo altogether…

If this application tickles your fancy, Dr Houston’s book How to Think Like a Mathematician might also interest you, as might the videos and other material on his site. (There’s a brief taster of the book here which contains some good advice for anybody trying to get to grips with maths.)

Thanks to Des Higham for the tip-off!

(DP)

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