Plus Advent Calendar Door #13: Unreasonable effectiveness

Maths is a creation of our brains, so how come it describes the world around us so amazingly well? How is it that ideas from pure maths suddenly find real-world applications decades or even centuries after their discovery? Here are some articles exploring the "unreasonable effectiveness" of mathematics.

Unreasonable effectiveness

When it comes to describing natural phenomena, mathematics is amazingly — even unreasonably — effective. This article looks at an example of strings and knots, taking us from the mysteries of physical matter to the most esoteric outpost of pure mathematics, and back again.

Mathematics for aliens

It has often been observed that mathematics is astonishingly effective as a tool for understanding the universe. But why should this be? Is mathematics a universal truth, and how would we tell?

The philosophy of applied mathematics

We all take for granted that mathematics can be used to describe the world, but when you think about it this fact is rather stunning. This article explores what the applicability of maths says about the various branches of mathematical philosophy.

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