Christopher Zeeman presents the second Christmas Lecture from his groundbreaking 1978 series.
As mathematics has developed down the centuries, our concept of "numbers" has grown more sophisticated to include many different types of numbers.
From rational and irrational numbers used for measuring the real world to complex numbers used for solving equations, Zeeman outlines the historical development of maths and explains why it happened.
It's not as complex as it sounds. Through demonstartions and simple proofs, we are introduced to the contributions of Greek mathematicians during the fifth centruy B.C. through to 1799 when Gauss proved the famous theorem that with complex numbers all equations can be solved.
Plus, watch out for the giant calculator!
Sir Christopher Zeeman