The Jerusalem Chords Bridge, Israel, was built to make way for the city's light rail train
system. Its design took into consideration more than just utility — it is a work of
art, designed as a monument. Its beauty rests not only in the visual appearance of its criss-cross
cables, but also in the mathematics that lies behind it. So let's take a deeper look at it.
Some of the things I overheard at Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday conference did make me wonder whether I hadn't got the wrong building and stumbled in on a sci-fi convention. "The state of the multiverse". "The Universe is simple but strange". "The future for intelligent life is potentially infinite". And — excuse me — "the Big Bang was just the decay of our parent vacuum"?!
A traditional view of science holds that every system — including ourselves — is no more than the sum of its parts. To understand it, all you have to do is take it apart and see what's happening to the smallest constituents. But the mathematician and cosmologist George Ellis disagrees. He believes that complexity can arise from simple components and physical effects can have non-physical causes, opening a door for our free will to make a difference in a physical world.