- #1

- 2,255

- 1

We hear phrases like beautiful or elegant maths/theorem or ugly maths although more the former since it's mostly the good that is talked about. But in most cases is it just efficient and inefficient maths? We label efficient maths as beautiful/elegant and the inefficient as ugly?

Efficient basically being maximal result and minimal work.

The same thing goes for physical theories. The beautiful theories tend to be the efficient ones with minimal neat equations (although may be very complex) but maximal information and generality. Dirac said "It must be beautiful" but does he really mean it must be efficient?

When I say efficient/inefficient I mean efficiency to the human mind and not to a computer or anything else. i.e. One may write a really efficient program for a computer to calculate aspects of nature or maths but the code will not look efficient to a human so is not beautiful.

Efficient basically being maximal result and minimal work.

The same thing goes for physical theories. The beautiful theories tend to be the efficient ones with minimal neat equations (although may be very complex) but maximal information and generality. Dirac said "It must be beautiful" but does he really mean it must be efficient?

When I say efficient/inefficient I mean efficiency to the human mind and not to a computer or anything else. i.e. One may write a really efficient program for a computer to calculate aspects of nature or maths but the code will not look efficient to a human so is not beautiful.

Last edited: