Some say that Mathematics is the language in which Physics is written. I would say that Mathematics is just a social business. Given a problem; I solve it and anyone can use the solution – without going through the difficulty of solving the original problem; isn’t that social? A simple example; given the problem a x^2 + b x + c = 0. Well we can say that x^2 + (b/a) x + (c/a) = 0 so [x + b/2a]^2 = (b/2a)^2-(c/a) then x= - \xi_\pm b/2a where \xi_\pm = 1 \pm \sqrt{1 - 4ac/b^2}. Carl Friedrich Gauss So now anyone can use this solution, and avoid the “difficulty” of solving the original problem. Many problems have been solved, but there are still some unsolved problems. On the right you see an image of Carl Friedrich Gauss; he is regarded as (one of) the greatest mathematician all time. But what does greatest mean? Does it mean that he has a body length of 7 feet and 6 inches? And that all other mathematicians have a lesser body length? Or does it mean that he has the greatest amount of contributions to mathematics? But what is more important; the quantity of contributions or the quality of contributions? What does the question “who is the greatest mathematician” actually mean? And why do we ask it? Is mathematics not a chain? And are not all pieces of the chain important? Why would one piece be more important?

Here is a list of posts involving mathematics or posts that are categorized (for some reason) as mathematics.


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