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January 9th, 2017, 06:25 AM   #11
Hellenist

Joined: Jan 2010
From: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 4,224
Blog Entries: 2

Quote:
 Originally Posted by TupSum The foundations of quantum mechanics rest on this formula: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euler's_formula
Okay, here is the problem-

"periodicity of the trigonometric functions"

What in blazes does that mean? I would give anything to understand the language of math, but how does one even begin to learn the language? I read explanations like that and go into a state of panic, sure I must be a complete idiot, and not a happy one.

January 9th, 2017, 07:02 AM   #12

Lecturer

Joined: Jan 2016
From: Collapsed wave
Posts: 389

Quote:
 Originally Posted by athena "periodicity of the trigonometric functions" What in blazes does that mean?
In this case it's a fancy way of saying: the function describes waves.

January 9th, 2017, 08:13 AM   #13
Dilettante

Joined: Sep 2013
From: Wirral
Posts: 3,659

Quote:
 Originally Posted by athena Excellent. Now for those who have ignored math can you say something about why all that is important to us? If we were to create an exhibit for a children's science center, what picture would represent each one of these, and what the explanation be?
At the most basic level they're important because they define and predict how things - engines, generators, electric circuits, nuclear reactors,etc etc all work.

I've absolutely no idea how to answer your second question - popularizing science for children is well outside my job description.

 January 9th, 2017, 09:03 AM #14 the governed self   Joined: Jan 2007 From: Nebraska Posts: 15,284 I think the function of the keystone in a stone arch can be described by some sort of mathematical equation. It's probably in the top ten, but don't quote me on that.
January 9th, 2017, 09:34 AM   #15
Historian

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8,545

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lucius I think the function of the keystone in a stone arch can be described by some sort of mathematical equation. It's probably in the top ten, but don't quote me on that.
The ideal form of a free-standing arch of constant thickness is a inverted catenary, which is a permutation on a hyperbolic cosine; though these were used occasionally during the Middle ages, the mathematics and physics of these arches wasn't fully understood until the late 17th century. Most the construction in the ancient world were based on semi-circular or round arches, which are less ideal, but worked well enough nonetheless.

 January 9th, 2017, 10:54 AM #16 the governed self   Joined: Jan 2007 From: Nebraska Posts: 15,284
 January 9th, 2017, 11:21 AM #17 Knight-errant   Joined: Oct 2011 From: Lago Maggiore, Italy Posts: 18,089 Blog Entries: 19 Also in a not exactly positive way? Black-Scholes-Merton model ... that is to say the equation which gave a math base [and justification] to the creation of the immense market of financial derived products ...
January 9th, 2017, 11:35 AM   #18

Citizen

Joined: Dec 2011
From: Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Posts: 26

Quote:
 Originally Posted by athena I do not know enough about the language of math to speak of it as eloquently as others who have posted here.
So if you're really that keen to learn ... what's stopping you from learning?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by athena All the religious arguments will get us nowhere ...
Can we leave Religion elsewhere ... it's not relevant. Mathematics is about verifiable truth (so completely unlike religion) unless you want to argue that actually two beans added to three beans makes eight beans?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by athena I just know if we are going to decide how to treat the homeless, how big to build the hospital, if we should invest in wheat or corn, and hundreds of other decisions we face, it is better to approach them with a knowledge of math ... If the unemployment rate is 7% how many people can not make their house payment or pay rent? If there is a growing homeless population, why is this so? Give me the math, not your prejudiced opinion.
... but all that's not really math(s) is it? .... that's just basic sums! Arithmatic. It's just adding, subtraction, division and multiplication... anyone with a modicum of basic common-sense should be able to do that. Heh ... even my dog can do addition and subtraction ... at least with units up to three: yours; mine; theirs.

Although I do wholeheartedly agree that people should be better educated mathematically. Why is it acceptable for educated people to be able to say " Hey ... I never could do numbers" ... when one would certainly look twice at someone, supposedly English-speaking, saying "Shakespeare ... err who?", or "I kant do spelin". Although when the British Minister for Education can say something along the lines of "It's an outrage ... half our children are performing below average!", I despair. (And yes I am well aware of the difference between the mean, median and mode ... although I'm not sure Her Majesty's Minister is).

Last edited by Meles meles; January 9th, 2017 at 11:54 AM.

January 9th, 2017, 11:44 AM   #19
Historian

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 8,545

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Meles meles So if you're really that keen to learn ... what's stopping you from learning? Can we leave Religion elsewhere ... it's not relevant. Mathematics is about verifiable truth (so completely unlike religion) unless you want to argue that actually two beans added to three beans makes eight beans? ... but all that's not really math(s) is it? .... that's just basic sums! Arithmatic. It's just adding, take-away, sharing and tiles-ing ... anyone with basic commonsense should be able to do that. Heh ... even my dog can do addition and subtraction ... at least with units up to three: yours; mine; theirs. Although I do wholeheartedly agree that people should be better educated mathematically ... especially when the British Minister for Education can say something along the lines of "It's an outrage ... half our children are performing below average!". And yes I am well aware of the differance between the mean, median and mode ... although I'm not sure Her Majesty's Minister is.
The relationship between mathematics, beauty, and religion and how these things relate to 'truth' (whatever that is) is a thread unto itself. But one thing I will say here is that Mathematics is NOT about 'verifiable truth', you're confusing it with science. Truth in Mathematics (assuming Mathematics is true, which is itself an article of faith) cannot be based in observation or experimentation, it finds it's validity in consistency, even as its consistency cannot be proven:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B...eness_theorems

Last edited by constantine; January 9th, 2017 at 11:47 AM.

January 9th, 2017, 11:54 AM   #20

McCartneynite-Lennonist

Joined: Dec 2011
From: Iowa USA
Posts: 3,547
Blog Entries: 1

Quote:
 Originally Posted by constantine The relationship between mathematics, beauty, and religion and how these things relate to 'truth' (whatever that is) is a thread unto itself. But one thing I will say here is that Mathematics is NOT about 'verifiable truth', you're confusing it with science. Truth in Mathematics (assuming Mathematics is true, which is itself an article of faith) cannot be based in observation or experimentation, it finds it's validity in consistency, even as its consistency cannot be proven: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B...eness_theorems
Very well stated, Constantine.

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