Originally posted by Starcrossd
Saw the episode and loved the description also, it made things slightly clearer to me. S&F
I also detest math and need help grasping basic concepts of it. Can anyone explain (for a complete math/physics ignoramus like myself) ..How do numbers translate to tangible things? (ie; 'it's in everything') and intagible also, like, sounds, music, colors etc? I'm probably not asking the question right but hopefully someone can interpret what I mean (but don't know what/how to ask-lol) Thx!
Originally posted by -PLB-
reply to post by kthxbai
Not entirely true. You can take a square with a diagonal of 1. Of course then the lengths of the legs become irrational. Similarly you can take a circle with a circumvent of 1, resulting in a irrational diameter. Its a matter of perspective.
Originally posted by puncheex
Originally posted by Starcrossd
Saw the episode and loved the description also, it made things slightly clearer to me. S&F
I also detest math and need help grasping basic concepts of it. Can anyone explain (for a complete math/physics ignoramus like myself) ..How do numbers translate to tangible things? (ie; 'it's in everything') and intagible also, like, sounds, music, colors etc? I'm probably not asking the question right but hopefully someone can interpret what I mean (but don't know what/how to ask-lol) Thx!
It is both easy and hard to answer that. Mathematics has the property of abstracting, of modeling the world we live in. Why it should do that is a deep philosophical question which I can't even essay, but consider your checkbook register. It uses mathematics (simple, but certainly adequate) to model you're monthly cash flow. Your tax forms model an aspect of your relationship with the sociological institution of the state. Pure math is the domain of a few very talented mathematicians, but all of the rest of us, and even they part of the time, apply math to the world to predict what will happen in the future and where we are going right now. Why does doing that work? I don't know. The only thing I can say is that when it is done properly, it works superbly, and that's both our justification and the best we can expect.
Originally posted by kthxbai
Originally posted by -PLB-
reply to post by kthxbai
Not entirely true. You can take a square with a diagonal of 1. Of course then the lengths of the legs become irrational. Similarly you can take a circle with a circumvent of 1, resulting in a irrational diameter. Its a matter of perspective.
There is always irrational numbers involved. Since you can never set the legs (sides of the squares) to a definite number, you can never prove it's a perfect square that you are measuring the diagonal of that you profess to be one
Originally posted by -PLB-
Originally posted by kthxbai
Originally posted by -PLB-
reply to post by kthxbai
Not entirely true. You can take a square with a diagonal of 1. Of course then the lengths of the legs become irrational. Similarly you can take a circle with a circumvent of 1, resulting in a irrational diameter. Its a matter of perspective.
There is always irrational numbers involved. Since you can never set the legs (sides of the squares) to a definite number, you can never prove it's a perfect square that you are measuring the diagonal of that you profess to be one
True, though note that when you are no longer talking about a mathematical model, but about actual existing shapes, lengths represented by a rational number no longer exist anyhow. It will all be an approximation. At the same time you will open a new can of worms involving Planck length and all kind of other quantum mechanical issues such as uncertainty principles.
Originally posted by kthxbai
Ok, I realize it's fiction, I realize it's a TV show, but this was a moment for a very gifted writer and a very gifted actor. It comes from the TV Show "Person of Interest". Finch is posing as a substitute teacher and the everlasting question "When will we ever use this" comes up. He paints an amazing picture involving pi and infinity and relates it in a way that I found truely amazing. I wanted to share it because it really is AWESOME! ...and very accurate as well!!
edit on 4-1-2013 by kthxbai because: added it was accurate
Originally posted by Aleister
Thanks for the excellent data on the inability to measure the diagonal of a perfect square. So fifty perfect squares laid end to end would make a good coffeetable, but you couldn't measure it! This is a great thread, nice work.
Originally posted by OccamAssassin
The irrational number is like infinity. As it cannot repeat its pattern - logically - it must be constantly changing.
Originally posted by Razziazoid
If pi contains everything it contains nothing.
Here is a string which may make this point clearer: just string together every possible sentence in English, first by length and then by alphabetical order. The resulting string contains the answer to every question you could possibly want to ask, but
a) most of what it contains is garbage,
b) you have no way of knowing what is and isn't garbage a priori, and
c) the only way to refer to a part of the string that isn't garbage is to describe its position in the string, and the bits required to do this themselves constitute a (terrible) encoding of the string. So finding this location is exactly as hard as finding the string itself (that is, finding the answer to whatever question you wanted to ask).
Useful communication is useful because of what it does not contain.
Originally posted by hypattia
Thanks everyone who posted in this thread! I have a tiny bit of understanding, where before, I had no understanding whatsoever. I have always wanted to know about pi, but needed help and all of you contributed to helping me. Thanks so much!
Originally posted by jhn7537
A little off topic, was the teacher Ben from Lost?