Math Walk – HuffPost Italy

Math Walk - HuffPost Italy

Taking the stairs at Waverley Station in Edinburgh, turning left and going up parallel to Princes Street, you arrive at the intersection between George Street and St Andrew’s Square, reading Piergiorgio Odifreddi’s most recent book math pills, I learned that the bearded gentleman was James Clerk Maxwell, sitting with the poodle curled up under his gracefully crossed legs. (And to think I’ve passed by it countless times without realizing it, but, in my defense, the statue is located right in the direction of one of the city’s best Indian restaurants, which is understandable distraction.) If If you don’t know who Maxwell is, an aromatic yet ultra-modern QR code affixed to the statue’s leg will explain everything you never dared to ask. If you know who this is, you’ll realize that, in your superior disdain for the aromantic and very modern QR code, you trample on the famous equations etched into the ground to condense not only electromagnetism but also Scottish rain. Must have been ,

In Edinburgh walking up the stairs to Waverley station, turning right, crossing North Bridge and then walking down the Royal Mile towards the palace you see another statue of David Hume that doesn’t have a QR code affixed to it (so either you know he or you should read the first chapter of math pills), but on the other hand, every now and then he is found with a nice orange road cone with reflective stripes on his head (Transit like this…etc) And that’s why Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, across the street from St Giles’ Cathedral, always stares at her with a look of tainted despair. What is definitely not oxidized is the famous empiricist philosopher’s right big toe, which extends out into the street just above the heads of passersby. Following a tradition possibly started by philosophy students from a nearby university campus, the above big thumb is now being rubbed by hordes of tourists, who (I assume they know very little about philosophy, but) are assured that it brings good luck. One wonders what is the worst fate for a skeptical empiricist philosopher: a lucky thumb or a traffic cone on the head.

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Now, after this introduction, it may seem that Piergiorgio Odifreddi’s new book is a tourist guide, but it is not, or perhaps it is because “in mathematics, before finding the right idea, one walks at random, But once found, he gallops in the right direction.” Thus, one moves from tablet to the next, exploring not only the pervasive nature of mathematics in geography, astronomy, chemistry, biology, economics, politics, and physics, but also (as one should expect) literature. , cinematography, music and gaming.

math can really be revealed by storytelling, whether I Gulliver’s Travels either Alice in Wonderlandwith characters that are subject to deduction and expansion or inventing worlds with more or less one dimension than three, even including flat land By Edwin Abbott characters that are actual geometric shapes. Mathematics also appears in comic and cartoon boards. Donald Duck in the world of mathWho crosses fountains of numbers with square roots hanging from tree branches and flowering atoms and then tries to sneak inside the Pentagon and discover all the doors math can open.

Who Knew (And I Like) The Series big bang theory knows how important blackboards are to theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, who explains in the 73rd episode of the series how the number 73 is the most beautiful because it has two strange properties: it is the 21st prime number, the product of 21, 7 and 3. and vice versa, 37 is the 12th prime number. This is true for the number 73, that’s clear, but is it really the only prime number with these properties? It took the famous number theorist Carl Pomerance Proof of Sheldon’s Conjecture To show that 73 is really just a “Sheldon prime”. (When fellow experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter points out to Sheldon that 73 is therefore a bit like the Chuck Norris of numbers, Sheldon responds angrily by adding another peculiarity that makes 73 incomprehensible: its binary transformation is a palindrome, 1001001, unlike Chuck Norris, who, read backwards, is just a mindless Cirron Kuhk.)

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There’s math in the music of that absolute genius (very politically incorrect) Tom Lehrer, which will even teach you how to subtract in base 8 in your songs, which is basically like “base 10 if you’re missing two fingers.” and paradoxical egg arithmetic, in which two half-eggs added together equal two eggs (because one half-egg can produce twins) and two eggs added equal one egg (because two eggs combined usually produce only one son). produce).

Finally, there is the Kamasutra of mathematics, or rather, for me as a romantic against all odds, the mathematics of love, which perhaps even in the case of Romeo and Juliet can be reduced to a differential equation, although one has Must be didn’t calculate the parameters well.

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