Maths: in the world and beyond

December 27, 2023by Editorial Team
Maths the woven fabric in our lives

Mathematics is the hidden artist painting the canvas of our existence. Its beauty transcends mere calculations, resonating in the symmetries of nature, the harmonies of art and music, and the innovations that shape our future.

Maths is omnipresent

Mathematics is often thought to be abstract, difficult and uninteresting; in reality, it is an integral part of the beauty that surrounds us. Be it the movement of celestial bodies in the galaxy, the intricate patterns found in nature or the stunning architectural designs that shape our cities, Maths is the underlying force that brings harmony and elegance to our world. In fact there is a mathematical constant known as Golden Ratio the value of which is approximately 1.618 that is found in almost everything that is aesthetically pleasing to our senses.Math is thus the unseen force that shapes our aesthetic experiences.


Maths in nature

The Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, manifests itself in the most stunning ways throughout the natural world. The spiral patterns of sunflower seed heads, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, and the spirals of a seashell all follow the Fibonacci sequence. Furthermore, fractals, the infinite geometric patterns that can be found in nature, demonstrate the exquisite beauty and complexity that can arise from simple mathematical formulas. Whether it’s the branching patterns of trees, the jagged edges of coastlines, or the clouds in the sky, fractals reveal the deep interconnectedness and beauty of the natural world.

The beauty in objects can be mostly attributed to the different types of symmetry they exhibit.The wings of a butterfly show bilateral symmetry, where both the wings have an almost identical pattern. Radial symmetry is observed in spiderwebs, flowers and snowflakes. The almost perfectly circular webs have equidistant radial supports coming out of the middle of the web, creating a spiral to catch its prey.

Maths in art and design

The harmonious and balanced proportions seen in the iconic works of art and architecture, such as Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man or the Parthenon in Greece are all examples of the Golden Ratio. This ratio has been hailed as the key to visual perfection. Architects and engineers leverage mathematical principles such as geometry, trigonometry, and calculus to design buildings with precise dimensions, structural integrity, and aesthetic appeal. The graceful curves of the Sydney Opera House, the soaring arches of the Eiffel Tower, and the intricate symmetry of the Taj Mahal all stand testimony to the marriage of mathematics and architecture, resulting in structures that not only serve practical purposes but also embody timeless beauty.


Maths in Technology

From the algorithms that power our digital lives to the mathematical models that drive advancements in fields such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and space exploration, Mathematics serves as the bedrock of technological progress. The sleek and efficient design of smartphones, the complexity of computer-generated imagery in movies, and the precision of satellite navigation systems all owe their existence to the elegant principles of Mathematics.

Maths in the galactic space

Apart from the planets that orbit the sun on concentric paths or the rings of Saturn, we also see a unique symmetry in our outer space that makes a solar eclipse possible. The moon is approximately 400 smaller than the sun, while the distance between the moon and the sun is also approximately 400 times that between the moon and earth. It is this phenomenon that allows a total solar eclipse to take place. From the algorithms fuelling artificial intelligence to the encryption that safeguards our digital world, it is Mathematics that models the future.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following students from Mahavir Senior Model School, New Delhi: Kartik Gautam,Gaurav Yadav, Dhruve Sharma, Kaavya Kapoor and Mannat Vohra.

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