Segments in this Video

Mathematical Algorithms (03:54)


Math is at the heart of big business and software development like facial recognition. Hannah Fry considers whether math was discovered or invented and fundamental mathematical laws.

Barber's Paradox (06:32)

Fry tries to precisely define a barber. Creating a mathematically precise definition results in a contradiction; Bertrand Russell discovered the paradox in 1901. The paradox made the fundamentals of math fallible.

Mass-Energy Equivalence (02:39)

Albert Einstein's equation contains mathematical and philosophical concepts and is one of the immutable laws of the universe.

Theory of General Relativity (04:47)

Einstein instigated a fundamental shift in the understanding of space, time, and light; we see stars and galaxies as they were in the past. Dr. Seshadri Nadathur provides an example of how time is relative.

Warping Spacetime (05:13)

Fry cites Einstein's belief that gravity is spacetime behavior and affects light. During an eclipse, light from a distant star bends around the sun. Experts discuss the impact of general relativity.

Discovery vs. Invention (04:13)

Fry compares mathematics to chess and discusses the conflicting beliefs of David Hilbert and Kurt Godel. In 1930, Godel claims he can prove that any rule-based math system contains things that are unknowable.

Theory vs. Practicality (04:56)

We can formalize all mathematics we need to use. Fry reflects on mathematics and aviation before paragliding. Godel's theorem highlights the distinction between theoretical and applied math.

Quantum Physics (03:06)

Many believe "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a satire on the flourishing math of the 1860s. We can never know the precise location of most particles in the quantum realm. Prof. Ivette Fuentes considers uncertainty in quantum physics.

Quantum Principles (05:29)

Erwin Schrodinger's equations describe the behavior of subatomic particles. Fuentes explains superposition and entanglement. Fry considers whether the math behind quantum physics is invented.

Quantum Mechanics (03:52)

Evidence suggests quantum processes are crucial to human existence—photosynthesis. Chlorophyll's subatomic particles are synchronized.

Mathematical Equations (04:29)

Fry explains the formula that describes the constituents of the universe and the formula that describes the solar system and beyond; the formulas are incompatible.

Multiple Universes (06:17)

Schrodinger's mathematics insist that particles can exist in multiple states at the same time; everything possible happens somewhere. Fry considers whether math was invented or discovered.

Credits: Weirder and Weirder (00:37)

Credits: Weirder and Weirder

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Part of the Series : Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Math
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Mathematician Dr. Hannah Fry explores the mystery of math. It underpins so much of our modern world that it's hard to imagine life without its technological advances, but where does math come from? In this episode, Hannah explores a paradox at the heart of modern math, discovered by Bertrand Russell. These flaws suggest that math is not a true part of the universe but might be a human language. Hannah argues that Einstein's theoretical equations and theory of general relativity are so good at predicting the universe, they must reflect some basic structure. She then explores what math can reveal about the fundamental building blocks of the universe—the subatomic, quantum world.

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL169043

ISBN: 978-1-64481-759-9

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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