# what is the mathematics of the universe

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
what do you think are the underlying mathematics of the universe

mathematics describe increase, decrease change.

I think is addition and division is most universal. (mutiplication and subtraction, exponential seems to be no go)

#### Animekitty

##### baby marshmallow born today
symmetry in self-feedback code

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
i read from Max tegmark that the universe is made of mathametical code, implying that god is either a programmer or mathematician

therefore, there must be some sort of math underlying the universe.

in terms of mathmatical operators, increase and change seems to be addition, while decrease seems to be subtraction and division

#### Viaterum Orbis

##### Game Master this time
As a mathematician myself (or at least an undergraduate student), I find hard to believe that the universe is made of math, since math is a human abstraction.

Sure, we can describe certain phenomena and model things with math models, but if anything, the universe is made of physics rather than math.

I mean, math is more about proving and analyzing structures than reality, and most ideas will never have a real equivalent. You can calculate volumes with integrals, but what do you do with number theory?

I like to think that the universe and reality can behave under certain criteria, but it's the result of chaos and randomness and we identify it with human-made models, like seeing a smile on the sky made of clouds, and that we can use those models to have a better understanding of things around us, but thinking about math only in terms of reality is really just limiting the real power of itself.

#### Viaterum Orbis

##### Game Master this time
PD: If we are talking of mathematical operations, sum and multiplication seem 'natural' to us because of its meaning (we can describe the sum of two numbers as the cardinal of the set formed by the union of two disjoint sets whose cardinal equal to the original numbers, respectively); and multiplication as the cardinal of x times a set of y elements (if we assume disjoint sets).

The trend now is to logically connect all math to the set theory, and even if this seems to be a good idea, check out the axioms for the theory and you'll see the abstraction taken into account. There's no way the universe can be born out of human-made math.

Can we describe the universe with it? Yes, but that's a totally different story.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
what subject of math are you specialize in?

the counterarguement is that Isacc Newton publish the principia mathemtica to describe how mathematics influence or govern the universe, leading to the birth of physics, but i am also open to the possibility that it could all be randomness

I think number and quantity in universe increase due to addition, mutiplication and exponential is very rare.

decrease is usually division, like cell division.

maybe i should just focus on increase only.

#### Viaterum Orbis

##### Game Master this time
Right now I'm a few periods before getting to actually specialize in anything, but so far I'm way more into algebra and logic than analysis or geometry.

Topology is interesting too, and it has lots of algebra.

The thing with Newton's Principia is that before of them pretty much every serious scientific study was faith-biased or plain discarded. Without Galileo and Kepler, however, there would be no Newton.

Newton does start real physics and thus a rigourous study of the universe, and also "invented" calculus (some of his ideas weren't new, from Pithagoras to Fermat, there was a "basic" idea of it; and there's the Leibniz dilemma) in order to help with the calculations, but it's more about physics than it's about math.

Math is what the physicists use to study the behavior of a system, and both disciplines have influenced each other heavily, altough for me, math is more than reality modeling, there's creation and proofing of things wich may or not exist. "Quoting" G. Hardy, there are two kind of math: "pure" math, which has nothing to do with reality, and "real" math, which can be used for something. The true geniouses, according to him, cared not about reality but about the consistency and correctness (and therefore the invention) of theorems and ideas.

I'm more into "pure" than "real" math.

#### Grayman

##### Team Ignorant
Vectors. Everything is a vector through space and/or time.

#### Viaterum Orbis

##### Game Master this time
Vectors. Everything is a vector through space and/or time.
Almost literally everything can be a vector under the right considerations.

#### Ex-User (14663)

##### Prolific Member
Newton himself made the point in Principia that he makes no claims as to what actually drives the various phenomena and that the math was just a tool to describe things.

So there’s your answer; there’s no “mathematics of the universe”, just formalization of human perception.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
I just really hate the number 0 for some reason, since it imply nothing.

#### Niclmaki

##### Disturber of the Peace
0 = 0

The sum of all things is zero. But you can have one hell of a time modifying both sides of that equals sign.

#### Viaterum Orbis

##### Game Master this time
We need the number 0 for a lot of things. Without it, negative numbers make no sense, since we define the negative number -x as the number such that

x + (-x) = 0

Also, we need it to prove certain properties about the sum, such as is there a number such that the sum of any number plus the unknown is the same as the original number? Or even equations like "is there a number equal to its double?"

The 0 is a "recent" number in western culture because of its meaning, but think of it via set theory. One of the axioms of this theory is that an empty set exists. Without the empty set a lot of modern math is just... nothing. 0 can be defined as the number of elements of the empty set.

So, how can we think of the empty set? For many years we used to think of sets as the collection (yeah, what is a collection? A set? I know it's a little circular, that's why we need axioms for the set theory) of elements that verified certain condition. For instance, the set of red cars is the set formed by every car that is red.

Now, what clause can we choose to define the empty set? There are many who might appear to be paradoxes, but only if we think about one element veryfing it; such as "every x such that x is not equal to x", or "every positive number less than 0", or "the ammount of pink elephants in the moon". Those are some of the ways to construct the empty set, and therefore, the zero.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
How does 0 becomes infinity, or how does infinity becomes 0 in the universe?

through arithmetic or geometric progression. my personal belief is that Arithmetic series is more likely.

the problem of 0 is another matter which i do not want to discuss here, i only brought it up because i believe 0 is an impossibility in this universe. the closest thing might be a black hole singularity or absolute vaccum and even then it may not be the case.

#### JansenDowel

##### Active Member
what do you think are the underlying mathematics of the universe

mathematics describe increase, decrease change.

I think is addition and division is most universal. (mutiplication and subtraction, exponential seems to be no go)
The universe isn't made of mathematics anymore than it is made of science. The universe is not made of mathematics, but it can be described by it.

#### ZenRaiden

##### One atom of me
I think what we need to really ask is what is the universe in the first place. But I am pretty sure math has much value. Math is metacognitive construct that helped shape understanding of things.

Surely the universe can in theory be a sort of program. A code writen down and runned inside it self. A sort of world where when you really zoom into it at the bottom of it all 0s and 1s. Then again what the hell we know. Perhaps in 100 years we will completely different concept of what is universe. By that time we might be able to deal with such small units of the universe or see cosmos in such macroscopic manner that compared to what we know now about the universe its all just a tiny fraction. Who knows maybe we will realize there are other places where big bang happend. That there are trillions of big bangs happening all around and that the universe is really made up of so many more things that who knows what. Or maybe we will find a way to jump into blackholes and get transported into some totally different dimension and realize that the there is another thing that looks like a black hole and that leads to the next dimension and that dimension is even weirrder than the previous one and so on. You can sit on a chair all your life and speculate what if.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
i think/hypothesize everything is countable and discrete in smallest form, even energy.

#### ZenRaiden

##### One atom of me
i think/hypothesize everything is countable and discrete in smallest form, even energy.
You can for example see a desert and you instinctively know it has more grains of sand than a tree has leafs. We know the difference between grain of sand and leafs, but we dont have to know what they are in order to tell the difference in quantities. Much the same way we can quantify many things and not know what they really are like for example energy.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
everything can be reduced to Form and Quantity in this universe.

the form of things is physical form they hold, quantity is mathematial.

##### Evil Jew
Our eyes see the reflection of electromagnetic radiation (photons) from the surrounding world and we come to form an idea of what something is based on that. But photons are just a reflection of the energy levels of electrons in atoms. Photons are not what atoms are and they do not show us what an atom looks like. We can interact with the particles in an atom, but not truly see them with our eyes. So how do you know everything can be reduced to form? Humans always seem optimistic that reality has a finite structure when certain things suggest infinite dimensions. Maybe it's because our own mind's are finite themselves. So we need it to be. It's the limit of human intelligence and we're trapped in it like a cat chasing a laser pointer, never fathoming that the laser isn't something to be caught.

#### JansenDowel

##### Active Member
Our eyes see the reflection of electromagnetic radiation (photons) from the surrounding world and we come to form an idea of what something is based on that. But photons are just a reflection of the energy levels of electrons in atoms. Photons are not what atoms are and they do not show us what an atom looks like. We can interact with the particles in an atom, but not truly see them with our eyes. So how do you know everything can be reduced to form? Humans always seem optimistic that reality has a finite structure when certain things suggest infinite dimensions. Maybe it's because our own mind's are finite themselves. So we need it to be. It's the limit of human intelligence and we're trapped in it like a cat chasing a laser pointer, never fathoming that the laser isn't something to be caught.
This does not mean we can't understand reality and know what is in it though...

##### Evil Jew
Maybe, but my point is only that quantum objects are not directly observed and because of this we do not know what form they truly have. How can you truly understand something, if you can not see the thing in itself and all you can do is observe its reaction with/against other things? I think it's an important question.

#### JansenDowel

##### Active Member
Maybe, but my point is only that quantum objects are not directly observed and because of this we do not know what form they truly have. How can you truly understand something, if you can not see the thing in itself and all you can do is observe its reaction with/against other things? I think it's an important question.
Its not important unless you can point to the problem it poses. You haven't stated the problem directly, so ill take a guess at what you think it is. The problem is something like this: "if we can't observe reality directly, then how can we be certain of anything." The answer is that we can't, ever.

Now im going to take a guess that you will come back with another question: But if we can't be certain of anything, than how can we have knowledge of anything at all? To which i would reply: "certainty and knowledge are not the same thing. Just because you can't be certain, does not mean you know anything at all."

#### JansenDowel

##### Active Member
Maybe, but my point is only that quantum objects are not directly observed and because of this we do not know what form they truly have. How can you truly understand something, if you can not see the thing in itself and all you can do is observe its reaction with/against other things? I think it's an important question.
Also, I've said this before, but as Karl Popper explained, we discover true knowledge through a process of conjecture and criticism.

##### Evil Jew
No, the problem is that modern physics attempts to explain reality discretely, but it is unable to observe it that way. An electron gun/microscope has to shoot electrons (which aren't directly observed to begin with) and alter what is being looked at. So we end up not observing quantum physics, but seeing the spray pattern created by shooting electrons, that we aren't entirely sure about to begin with, at something else and then inferring what it means and what particles are there.

And we have no idea what's really going on there. We're basically cavemen when it comes to quantum reality. Our approach so far has been to create particle guns that blast things in the quantum world, so we can discretely pick them apart and assign particles and such. But we have no explanation for why gravity, strong force, weak force, electromagnetism. We just know there are forces that hold things together, but we don't know why. Physics doesn't know what an electric charge means for example, except to say that positive and negative charges attract and same charges repel. It's all a very crude understanding. We do not have anything close to a complete picture and that might be because reality is not discrete; it's just something to consider.

##### Evil Jew
Just happened upon Quantum Field Theory and I think they are on to something. Still doesn't explain why all these fields and if/how they are linked, but at least it does more than view reality as "discrete particles".

#### gilliatt

##### Active Member
Let's say we slide a box along the floor by pulling it with a string or pushing it with a stick. We are to slide it by exerting a force on it. The point is that the motion of the box is caused not by the 'objects which push or pull on it, but by the forces which these exert. There is magnitude, direction of the force that we need to know. Of course with vectors, it might depend of line of action, point of application.

#### heather mcdougall

##### Redshirt
What is the Mathematics of the Universe? The INTP is set off at 100% at this.
Firstly: I question the assumption that the Universe can be described mathematically exclusively. Prove your assumption!
Second: If mathematics can describe the universe, is that the universe in the past, present or future?
Third: It would appear that mathematics cannot account for the whole universe, so we need to decide the exact areas where mathematics is really relevant and helpful, and delineate them, so we can encourage and support further research I to those exact areas.
Fourth: maths can't explain why there is something rather than nothing, given the original "singularity".

Fifth: At the "singularity" there was no time/space, because logically , you need timespace to have "existence" of any sort whatsoever. So WHY did the singularity, become no longer a singularity? What "launched " it into action? Can maths explain that, or does it hold out the hope of that? is it rather theoretical physics, rather than pure maths?
I'd better stop now or I could just go on and on . It's my totally favourite topic of all time!
Life, the Universe and everything existing.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
physicists believe everything can be expressed as a mathematical equation.

#### rlnb

##### Member
When logic is the primary instrument, mathematics is an inevitable consequence.
Physics is nothing but a logical way to understand all phenomena.

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
If reality is defined by our consciousness and the only way to experience the world is through perception, then that is the totality of things. Our experience is the totality of our life, so if mathematics explains our perception of reality in a logical way then that is the universe we live in. At the very least, it is the only logical precedent: We cannot consider what exists beyond our perception because it is outside of our model state of reality.

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
Also I don't actually recall Max explaining the Universe as mathematical through operators, it was rather patterns, quantity and the fact everything is derived from atomic properties as referenced in the standard model, with the exception of gravity which hasn't been fully understood. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

#### sushi

##### Well-Known Member
we are probably all made of mathematical information. this is my latest hypothesis.

#### moody

##### Well-Known Member
we are probably all made of mathematical information. this is my latest hypothesis.
Sure. Just as we are all made of biological information, made by atomical information, described by chemical and physical information, explained by mathematical information.

You can call the force that creates and transforms "math," but it's probably more accurate to consider this an adjective rather than a noun. Same with the other subjects that create us.

Math is ill-suited to describing intricacies of life in itself. It's essential to humans in understanding universal principals, but it rarely can be helpful out of context. Like cogs in a machine that make the machine work.

Don't know who originally said this, but describing "math [as] the language of the universe" makes the most sense to me.

All of our labeling and analysis is derived first from what we see of the phenomenon, not the other way around.