- Mathematics has been called the language of the universe. Scientists and engineers often speak of the elegance of mathematics when describing physical reality, citing examples such as π, E=mc2, and even something as simple as using abstract integers to count real-world objects. Yet while these examples demonstrate how useful math can be for us, does it mean that the physical world naturally follows the rules of mathematics as its "mother tongue," and that this mathematics has its own existence that is out there waiting to be discovered?

usipeus:

I don't understand why the author seems to discount anything remotely complex as not mathematical. For example,

> Today's submicrometer transistors involve complicated effects that the earlier models neglected, so engineers have turned to computer simulation software to model smaller transistors. A more effective formula would describe transistors at all scales, but such a compact formula does not exist.

What the heck does she think the code of the simulation software is? *People* wrote that code so that engineers can actually get work done at Intel. Furthermore, aren't those "complicated effects" at smaller scales due to quantum mechanics which are extremely well-defined by math?

Why is there the assumption that describing something in the most general form (like "transistors at all scales") is still going to be simple? Is everything supposed to be as simple as E = mc^2?

posted by NotPhil: 1343 days ago