Mathematics and physics. To what extent do they correlate? Some say that mathematics is completely necessary for physics while some argue it’s not. Recently, a group of students went to Oxford University in order to get further insight and learn more about their correlation.
The lecture was held in the mathematical institute by Cambridge Fellow Graham Farmelo. It was clear that Mr. Farmelo is a very respectable lecturer and the entire room was filled with anticipation and excitement.
Then came the lecture – the focus was on the history of how mathematics is used within physics and how it has evolved over time. There was a lot of emphasis on different physicists and how they’ve improved each other’s theories constantly. For me, a student who isn’t studying physics, it was quite challenging to grasp all the concepts involved. However, it was presented in such a way that even someone who’s never studied physics would have been able to understand the evolution of these theories.
One example which I found really interesting is how Einstein didn’t use numbers at first when he was working on the theory of relativity. You could even argue that philosophy had a greater influence than mathematics in this theory. But not for long, Einstein soon realized that numbers were the way forward. It became the way to understand the universe and all of its complexity.
I have always been of the belief that mathematics has been used to a large extent in physics and it was really interesting to discover that the past of physics has been much more ambiguous than I’d imagined.
I would like to thank both teachers, Richard Pugsley and Grahame Hale, for giving us this opportunity to improve our knowledge and interest about numbers and their relationships with physics. Everyone that I talked to afterward seemed to have gained valuable insights into the complexity of physics and most importantly, a greater interest in the subject and its complexity.