figure*provides a floating page-wide figure (and
table*a page-wide table) which will do the necessary. The “
*”ed float environments can only appear at the top of a page, or on a whole page —
bfloat placement directives are simply ignored. Unfortunately, page-wide equations can only be accommodated inside float environments. You should include them in
figureenvironments, or use the float or ccaptionpackage to define a new float type.
This question on the Web: http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=widefigs