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Mathematical art

  1. Feb 1, 2006 #1

    matt grime

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    story about and link to someone's mathematically inspired 'art' (if printing an equation or mathematical symbol is artistic to you).

    be warned the descriptions of the equations/symbols can induce speechlessness and not in a good way (example. aleph-1 is "the smallest number bigger than infinity", and a logician might go a bit potty of the consistent/complete Goedel's theorem discussion)
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2006 #2


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    At first I thought you were talking about something one my prof creates using dynamical systems.

    You can actually enjoy the work of my prof as a layman.

    Having equations make you smart right?:wink:
  4. Feb 1, 2006 #3

    matt grime

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    I thought you were one of the 'euler's equation is great' party, which is what the artist is saying.
  5. Feb 1, 2006 #4


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    I wouldn't consider myself a logician, but yeah
    isn't correct. Someone should send the artist a picture of Gödel's Completeness Theorem. Hurkyl's given several nice explanations of Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem here if anyone's curious.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder what exactly makes statements like those beautiful. For example, there is something beautiful to me about

    1) [tex]\Phi \models \phi \Leftrightarrow \Phi \vdash \phi[/tex]

    It's certainly not because I think the font is pretty (though I suppose that might have some effect). At first, I think it's a combination of the statement's meaning and the simplicity with which it is stated. But I could state the same thing even simpler by saying

    [tex]\clubsuit[/tex] =df (1).

    But this doesn't make

    2) [tex]\clubsuit[/tex]

    beautiful -- or at least not nearly as much so as (1). Stating (1) in a more complex way also eventually removes at least some of the beauty -- all of the statements preceding (1) in the chapter together basically say what (1) says. Even its closest translation into English isn't as satifying.

    3) An L-formula is a logical consequence of a set of L-formulas if and only if that L-formula is deducible from that set of L-formulas.

    So it seems the relationship between form and meaning that gives rise to beauty isn't so simple, even in math and logic. Anywho, I just think that's interesting; the same thing is at work in poetry (in natural languages).
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2006
  6. Feb 1, 2006 #5
    Oh my... There's actually a For Sale page.
  7. Feb 1, 2006 #6


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    Maybe we should start copyrighting our own creations to protect ourselves - just in case! :approve:
  8. Feb 1, 2006 #7
    I call dibs on [itex]\int[/itex]!
  9. Feb 1, 2006 #8
    I want 0, in that case! Or perhaps 1...

    I can kind of see what the author is saying - for example, I think that Stokes' Theorem stated in the language of differential forms is just fantastic:

    [tex]\int_C d\omega = \int_{\partial C} \omega[/tex]

    but that's more because of what it says, rather than how it looks. Although I do have to admit that it looks quite pwetty :)
  10. Feb 1, 2006 #9


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    I personally think the beauty of mathematics comes from experience in mathematics. Similiar to an artist, an experienced artist will see the inner beauty.

    Things like equations won't be considered beautiful by the general public because they just don't know what it is. Some might say it's beautiful or cool, but just like in the world of artists, their opinion is meaningless to the mathematician or artist.
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