Trick or Truth?: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics

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Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, Zeeya Merali
Springer, Feb 20, 2016 - Science - 250 pages

The prize-winning essays in this book address the fascinating but sometimes uncomfortable relationship between physics and mathematics. Is mathematics merely another natural science? Or is it the result of human creativity? Does physics simply wear mathematics like a costume, or is math the lifeblood of physical reality?

The nineteen wide-ranging, highly imaginative and often entertaining essays are enhanced versions of the prize-winning entries to the FQXi essay competition “Trick or Truth”, which attracted over 200 submissions.

The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Children of the Cosmos
5
Mathematics Is Physics
21
Living in a Mathematical Universe
41
Lets Consider Two Spherical Chickens
55
The Raven and the Writing Desk
67
The Deeper Roles of Mathematics in Physical Laws
77
How Mathematics Meets the World
91
Demystifying the Applicability of Mathematics
135
Why Mathematics Works so Well
145
Genesis of a Pythagorean Universe
157
Beyond Math
171
The Descent of Math
183
The Ultimate Tactics of Selfreferential Systems
193
Cognitive Science and the Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
201
A Universe from Universality
219

Intuitions Consistency Check
103
How Not to Factor a Miracle
119
The Language of Nature
129
And the Math Will Set You Free
233
Appendix List ofWinners
248
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Anthony AguirreBrendan FosterZeeya Merali

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