Quotes about equations (16 Quotes)




    You kind of alluded to it in your introduction. I mean, for the last 300 or so years, the exact sciences have been dominated by what is really a good idea, which is the idea that one can describe the natural world using mathematical equations.

    How can you shorten the subject That stern struggle with the multiplication table, for many people not yet ended in victory, how can you make it less Square root, as obdurate as a hardwood stump in a pasturenothing but years of effort can extract it. You can't hurry the process. Or pass from arithmetic to algebra you can't shoulder your way past quadratic equations or ripple through the binomial theorem. Instead, the other way your feet are impeded in the tangled growth, your pace slackens, you sink and fall somewhere near the binomial theorem with the calculus in sight on the horizon. So died, for each of us, still bravely fighting, our mathematical training except for a set of people called 'mathematicians' born so, like crooks.




    If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least conceded so much to our imperfect intellect that in order to predict little parts of it, we need not solve innumerable differential equations, but can use dice with fair success.

    The thing that got me started on the science that I've been building now for about 20 years or so was the question of okay, if mathematical equations can't make progress in understanding complex phenomena in the natural world, how might we make progress?


    At the age of 12, I developed an intense interest in mathematics. On exposure to algebra, I was fascinated by simultaneous equations and read ahead of the class to the end of the book.

    I now want to tell three stories about advances in twentieth-century physics. A curious fact emerges in these tales time and again physicists have been guided by their sense of beauty not only in developing new theories but even in judging the validity of physical theories once they are developed......... Simplicity is part of what I mean by beauty, but it is a simplicity of ideas, not simplicity of a mechanical sort that can be measured by counting equations or symbols.

    Even before string theory, especially as physics developed in the 20th century, it turned out that the equations that really work in describing nature with the most generality and the greatest simplicity are very elegant and subtle.

    But the beauty of Einstein's equations, for example, is just as real to anyone who's experienced it as the beauty of music. We've learned in the 20th century that the equations that work have inner harmony.


    It seems that if one is working from the point of view of getting beauty in one's equations, and if one has really a sound insight, one is on a sure line of progress.

    The fundamental laws necessary for the mathematical treatment of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty lies only in the fact that application of these laws leads to equations that are too complex to be solved.



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