John D. Barrow's 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know about PDF

By John D. Barrow

A desirable exploration of math’s connection to the arts.
At first look, the worlds of math and the humanities would possibly not look like cozy pals. yet as mathematician John D. Barrow issues out, they've got a powerful and usual affinity—after all, math is the examine of all styles, and the area of the humanities is wealthy with development. Barrow whisks us via a hundred thought-provoking and infrequently whimsical intersections among math and lots of arts, from the golden ratios of Mondrian’s rectangles and the curious fractal-like nature of Pollock’s drip work to ballerinas’ gravity-defying leaps and the subsequent iteration of monkeys on typewriters tackling Shakespeare. For these people with our ft planted extra firmly at the floor, Barrow additionally wields daily equations to bare what percentage guards are wanted in an artwork gallery or the place you need to stand to examine sculptures. From tune and drama to literature and the visible arts, Barrow’s witty and obtainable observations are absolute to spark the imaginations of math nerds and paintings aficionados alike. eighty five illustrations

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Extra info for 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know about Math and the Arts

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O. ”1 There is a further interesting feature of complex phenomena that sheds light upon what it is we like about many forms of art that we value most. If we allow a stream of grains to fall vertically downward onto a tabletop then a pile will steadily grow. The falling grains will have haphazard trajectories as they tumble over the others. Yet, steadily, the unpredictable falls of the individual grains will build up a large orderly pile. Its sides steepen gradually until they reach a particular slope.

That is, of course, unless he or she suspects that the singer’s output is a little too perfect. 30 6 The Grand Jeté Ballerinas can seem to defy gravity and “hang” in the air when they jump. They can’t actually defy gravity, of course, so is all this talk of “hanging in the air” mere hyperbole, created by overenthusiastic fans and commentators? The skeptic points out that when a projectile, in this case the human body, is launched from the ground (and air resistance can be neglected) then its center of mass1 will follow a parabolic trajectory: nothing the projectile can do will change that.

If the pile was on an open tabletop then eventually the grains would start falling off the sides of the table at the 63 same rate that they drop from above. The pile is always composed of different grains: it is a transient steady state. The robustness of the overall shape of the pile that exists despite the sensitivity of the individual grain trajectories is very suggestive of what it is we like about many artistic creations. A “good” book, film, play, or piece of music is one that we want to experience again.

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100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know about Math and the Arts by John D. Barrow


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