Publication
Title
Conquering Mount Improbable
Author
Abstract
Our scientific and technological worldviews are largely dominated by the concepts of entropy and complexity. Originating in 19th-century thermodynamics, the concept of entropy merged with information in the last century, leading to definitions of entropy and complexity by Kolmogorov, Shannon and others. In its simplest form, this worldview is an application of the normal rules of arithmetic. In this worldview, when tossing a coin, a million heads or tails in a row is theoretically possible, but impossible in practice and in real life. On this basis, the impossible (in the binary case, the outermost entries of Pascal's triangle xn and yn for large values of n) can be safely neglected, and one can concentrate fully on what is common and what conforms to the law of large numbers, in fields ranging from physics to sociology and everything in between. However, in recent decades it has been shown that what is most improbable tends to be the rule in nature. Indeed, if one combines the outermost entries xn and yn with the normal rules of arithmetic, either addition or multiplication, one obtains Lamé curves and power laws respectively. In this article, some of these correspondences are highlighted, leading to a double conclusion. First, Gabriel Lamé's geometric footprint in mathematics and the sciences is enormous. Second, conic sections are at the core once more. Whereas mathematics so far has been exclusively the language of patterns in the sciences, the door is opened for mathematics to also become the language of the individual. The probabilistic worldview and Lamé's footprint can be seen as dual methods. In this context, it is to be expected that the notions of information, complexity, simplicity and redundancy benefit from this different viewpoint.
Language
English
Source (book)
Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Square Bamboos and the Geometree (ISSBG 2022)
Source (series)
Athena Transactions in Mathematical and Physical Sciences ; 1
Publication
Amsterdam : Athena Publishing , 2023
ISBN
978-90-833839-0-3
DOI
10.55060/S.ATMPS.231115.013
Volume/pages
p. 153-173
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 29.11.2023
Last edited 30.11.2023
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