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The World Is Mathematics

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on February 14, 2001 01:54:47 UTC

We all know what is meant by "the wcrld of mathematics". It's not a physical world. One might say that it is a mental world. Well, the quote below suggests that the mathematical world does not only describe, the physical, it actually influences the physical world.

"Confining rubidium atoms in micron-scale billiard tables oriented perpendicular to the ground, the Weizmann group found that circle and ellipse shapes promoted stable, non-chaotic motion, while a "tilted stadium," consisting of two half circles connected by two non-parallel straight lines, caused the atoms to exhibit essentially chaotic motion. "

Now things that are stable tend to survive and things that are chaotic tend to demise. It seems that shapes that allow solutions of differential equations, simple shapes like the circle , sphere, parabola, generate stable physical configurations.

Perhaps this is why the world seems to be described by simple math. The elegant theory is most often correct, one hears the physicists say.

The reference for this quote is:
http://www.aip.org/physnews/update/525.html

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