Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Using math to determine the future?

  1. Jan 22, 2006 #1
    Can you use math to calculate the outcome,say the outcome of our future's technology? Like calculate the resources we have right now and what new technology we will have in the next few years.

    Is this possible?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

  4. Jan 22, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You can TRY! In fact there are many "think tanks" doing that right now. However, the result is dependent on how good our knowledge of the intermeshing of a huge number of things is and that is very iffy. In addition, there is the distinct possibility that even if we knew all of the "equations" they would be so complex that the outcome would be "chaotic"- that is, a tiny error in any of the inputs would produce an enormous error in the result.
  5. Jan 22, 2006 #4
    do you know any formulas or math equations to do that then?

    Im attempting to try, but i need a jump start first.
  6. Jan 22, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    One example is Moore's law.
  7. Jan 22, 2006 #6
    The most relevant one in this case is Murphy's law. No really. Math is mainly a language that enables unambiguous statements to be made so that stated premises can lead to logical conclusions according to the rules of the language. Predicting the future has little to do with math and everything to do with knowing how the universe behaves. Even knowing how the universe behaves doesn't mean that you are able to express all necessary input in math terms and calculate the conclusion faster than events actually unfold.

    Predicting the future is always an approximation, an art form. You can surely use math to put down what you're doing since it's a precise language. Just don't expect any magic.
  8. Jan 22, 2006 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    ode is about using math to predict the future, but i would not say determine it, just guess at it.
  9. Jan 22, 2006 #8


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You can predict what year it's going to be next year.

    The most accurate method is to add one to the current year.

    So, for next year we have...

    2006 + 1 = 2007

    So, we will have to wait and see if this is true. :biggrin:

    Anyways, it's amazing what math can do, but I don't think a mathematician can answer it. It's more like what a Physicist would answer.
  10. Jan 22, 2006 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't see how any mathematical calculation could have predicted the internet's discovery. It's like saying can i mathematically determine if you'll fall in love tomorrow. What kind of crazy idea is that.
  11. Jan 22, 2006 #10
    it could have if given the initial state you couold provide the entire state fo the universe. the question shouhld be could you provide all that info
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook