Organisational unit: Research Grouping

What are the practical applications of pure mathematics research? We don't know yet and there is no guarantee we ever will. One cannot expect instant payback from pure mathematical research. But that doesn't make it any less exciting.

The UK mathematician G H Hardy worked with little expectation that the bulk of his research would ever find practical application. But his work with prime numbers became the basis of modern cryptography used in e-commerce. Rather abstract geometries introduced in the 19th century were used by Einstein to construct his general theory of relativity.

Pure mathematicians build the tools that applied mathematicians, physicists, biologists, computer scientists and engineers use to solve real-world problems. But sometimes this flow is reversed and pure mathematicians research the mathematical phenomena thrown up from new areas of discovery, such as quantum mechanics and gene research.

At Bristol, the Pure Mathematics group contributes to research in algebra, analysis, combinatorics, ergodic theory, logic, number theory and set theory: