Coinciding with the beginning of Math Awareness Month, a quantum physics professor has suggested a new mathematical angle from which to approach the concept of “quantum gravity”.
Before we get too far into this, just know one thing. Math has always been my nemesis. Equations intimidate me more than bullies.
However, although I still harbor some confusion and resentment towards it, my appreciation for math has considerably changed. Just so we’re clear, I’m sharing this news with you out of admiration rather than complete understanding.
Whatever your level of mathematical appreciation, math is the language of the Universe. It is how we have learned to understand our existence both on an atomic and a galactic scale. Without this understanding, nothing in our modern society would be possible
The late physicist Stephen Hawking–who, to cope with his disability, visualized mathematical equations in his head – often paid tribute to his mathematics teacher. This was due to the fact that he inspired him to become a professor of mathematics.
Stephen Hawking calls mathematics “the blueprint of the universe.”
Yet, more than astrophysicists use math. Economics, finance, computing, electronics, robotics, engineering, technology, biology, and even the arts are making use of mathematical-science research.
Math ought to be celebrated. You’ve already celebrated April Fool’s Day. The whole rest of the month is for raising math awareness.
Since 1986, Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, formerly Mathematics Awareness Week, has taken place during the month of April.
Now, as math awareness month is kicking off, we have learned of a study that proposes a new mathematical vantage point to help solve some “quantum” issues currently facing physicists.
Square Roots to Give Quantum Gravity Theory a Boost
Theoretical physicists are pulling out all the stops to unify General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. This is good for us, as Quantum gravity is one of the leading contenders to answer the “theory of everything”.
As far as I understand it, attempts to reconcile space-time in relativity with energy and matter in quantum physics face mathematical hurdles.
One of these hurdles is that the space-time continuum, according to the quantum uncertainty principle, has a fluctuating geometry. Due to this fluctuation, it’s hard to mathematically describe it within the quantum frame.
Yasha Neiman is head of Quantum Gravity Unit at OIST (Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, Canada), which focuses on quantum gravity research.
Professor Naiman suggests a new mathematical way around space uncertainty, or as he puts it “alternative footholds,” to describe reality.
In Neiman’s own words:
“The underlying math that makes this story tick is all about square roots. It’s about identifying subtle ways in which a geometric operation, such as a rotation or reflection, can be done ‘halfway’. A clever square root is like finding a crack in a solid wall, opening it in two, and revealing a new world.”
This new approach to understanding the mechanics of our Universe may be a pivotal moment in our search for new definitions, formulas, and equations in the world of mathematics.
For math whizzes, the complete paper is published in the Journal of High Energy Physics.