Colin Wright, juggler
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Unlocking the mathematical formula of juggling

In the 1980s, Cambridge University mathematician Colin Wright helped develop a notation system for juggling.

He was frustrated that there was no way to write down juggling moves, and so devised sequences of numbers which could be used to denote particular juggling moves.

Known around the world as Siteswap, Quantum Juggling, or The Cambridge Notation, these sequences encode the number of beats of each juggling throw, related to their height and the hand to which the throw is made. In turn this has help to unlock previously unknown juggling moves.

More or Less is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. You can listen again online by downloading the More or Less podcast

  • 19 Dec 2012