Eureka Magazine

The first 3 articles from my Millennium Problems series have been published in Cambridge University’s Eureka Magazine – one of the oldest recreational mathematics magazines in the world, with authors including: Nobel Laureate Paul Dirac, Fields Medallist Timothy Gowers, as well as Martin Gardner, Stephen Hawking, Paul Erdös, John Conway, Roger Penrose and Ian Stewart. To say I’m excited would be an understatement… (pages 82-84 in case you’re interested).

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Would Aliens Understand Maths?

Maths is found everywhere in our daily lives and is often referred to as ‘the language of nature’, so the big question is would aliens be able to understand it? I spoke to Professor Ian Stewart from the University of Warwick…

  • Maths is not as accurate as you might think – it all depends on how accurate your measurements are in the real world
  • The maths that we use on Earth is likely to have evolved from the environment here on Earth – rigid shapes and lines are common to us, but for an alien living on a gas giant such as Jupiter, things would be very different as everything would flow
  • Counting likely evolved from the need to keep track of objects such as our belongings or livestock
  • Maths is probably more likely to be understood by aliens than things such as culture or language because it transcends the whole universe

You can listen to the full interview for the Naked Scientists here.

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