Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Lovers Numbers Never Disagree
Benoit Mandelbrot died October 14th 2010. Maybe you've heard of him, maybe not, but he had an incredible force on my life and all our lives.
After reading about his research and chaos theory I was inspired 25 years ago to learn math again. Because math suddenly made sense in the real world. One simple equation, applied over and over to the results of the previous equation, are how simple things grow complicated. Back then I had to go the library, search thru bookstores, to find text books and just do the math. All the math I had learned in school was linear. His non-linear math was, to me, the secret of the universe. It was time well spent.
Mmm, fractals, they're sexy!
What's not to like, imaginary numbers that aren't imaginary but coordinate systems that can be depicted visually. And the sheer beauty of the images! And realizing that it describes everything from snowflakes, rivers and streams, leafs and trees, blood vessels and capillaries, and solar systems to galaxies.
Just like DNA with a small number of components (ACGT) that consists of all life on our planet, this, THIS is how the universe works!
E=mc² seems simple, DNA sequences ACGT seems simple, zn+1 = zn2 seems simple. We know our world is complicated, but it's also simple. It's unpredictable, it contains things that can kill us while observing the beauty, it's unpredictable, but only within ranges.
Please don't upset the ranges.