How Come Math Works?

In traditional logic, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other (theory dependent) truths. Didn’t you ever wonder why we take statements as absolute truth when we don’t really ‘know’?

(Scientific American) Why Math Works

Is math invented or discovered? A leading astrophysicist suggests that the answer to the millennia-old question is both

Most of us take it for granted that math works—that scientists can devise formulas to describe subatomic events or that engineers can calculate paths for space­craft. We accept the view, initially espoused by Galileo, that mathematics is the language of science and expect that its grammar explains experimental results and even predicts novel phenomena. The power of mathematics, though, is nothing short of astonishing.

Consider, for example, Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell​’s famed equations: not only do these four expressions summarize all that was known of electromagnetism in the 1860s, they also anticipated the existence of radio waves two decades before German physicist Heinrich Hertz detected them. Very few languages are as effective, able to articulate volumes’ worth of material so succinctly and with such precision.

Albert Einstein​ pondered, “How is it possible that mathematics, a product of human thought that is independent of experience, fits so excellently the objects of physical reality?”

(Read more here)

Also see Is Your IQ Related to Your Motivation?How the Mona Lisa and Stendhal Syndrome are Connected, Are Apple Factory Workers in China Killing Themselves? and D’oh, We May Never Decode the Universe

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