clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why the universe may be nothing more than math

New, 131 comments
math 1020 stock
math 1020 stock

If you're not already a physicist, you need to mentally prepare yourself for MIT professor Max Tegmark's explanation of how our entire universe isn't just described by math, but is math. Scientific American published an excerpt from Tegmark's new book, Our Mathematical Universe, which explains that our universe is just an external reality made of a mathematical structure covered up by "baggage." He uses a couple of surprisingly gripping analogies to explain this, like describing a "basketball trajectory" in terms of particles and parabolas, and how the "Immortal Game" in chess can be stripped down to relationships between the game's abstract entities. While it's not a strictly new theory, it's mind-blowing stuff that Tegmark makes remarkably easy to understand, even if you were allergic to math in school. If you'd like a bit of light reading about the mathematical universe that we live in, Our Mathematical Universe was released on January 7th and is available now.