Why mathematics is essential to understanding our universe - Deepstash

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## The world is created by a mathematician

The Babylonians possibly started applying mathematics to scientific study. Nearly 3,000 years ago, they used mathematics to discover the pattern underlying eclipses. But it took another 2,500 years and the invention of calculus and Newtonian physics to explain the patterns.

Nearly every major scientific discovery has used mathematics because it is more powerful than any other human language. That led to people claiming that the universe is made up of mathematics.

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## Mathematics is a language

The Sapir-Whort hypothesis states that you can't discuss a concept if you don't have the language to describe it.

In any science, we need to describe concepts. For example, one can describe an electron, but the moment we ask questions like "What colour is it?" English falls short in describing it.

The colour of an object depends on the wavelengths of light reflected by it. So, an electron has no colour or all colours. The question is meaningless. But in answer to how it behaves, we have an accurate equation written down by Paul Dirac in 1928.

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## Predicting chaos

Mathematics is not just a language for describing the external world but, in many ways, it is the only one. However, because we can describe something mathematically doesn't mean we can predict it.

Chaotic systems is one of the recent remarkable discoveries. These are simple mathematical systems that can't be solved precisely. Many systems are chaotic in this sense.

For example, hurricane tracks in the Caribbean are similar to eclipse tracks, but we cannot predict them. The equations that describe weather are intrinsically chaotic but can be used to make accurate short-term predictions.

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## Designing social systems

Many social phenomena, from the stock market to revolutions, lack good predictive mathematics, but we can describe them in retrospect and to some extent construct model systems.

In personal relationships, the majority of us choose partners inside our social class and linguistic group, so it is true in the statistical sense. Dating sites use algorithms to match you to your ideal partner.

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## We can't imagine a non-mathematical universe

A universe that could not be described mathematically would need to be not only unpredictable but fundamentally irrational.

Because a theory is implausible doesn't mean we can't describe it mathematically.

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My math book needs to commit suicide. It has way to many problems.

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