Posts Tagged ‘Alice’

Let me first take up the Euler’s theorem or Euler’s Identity. It is an equation as neat as Einstein’s e=mc2 and in the words of Prof. David Percy of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, it was “a real classic and you can do no better than that … It is simple to look at and yet incredibly profound, it comprises the five most important mathematical constants.”

Euler’s Identity is written simply as: e + 1 = 0

The five constants are:

  • The number 0.
  • The number 1.
  • The number π, an irrational number (with unending digits) that is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is approximately 3.14159…
  • The number e, also an irrational number as π . It is approximately 2.71828….

But the weirdest thing about Euler’s formula—given that it relies on imaginary numbers—is that it’s so immensely useful in the real world. By translating one type of motion into another this equation has application in real world. π and e are deeply related, but in a very weird way, as adventures of Alice after falling through the rabbit hole.

Such irrational events that Alice experienced are in a dimension perpendicular to the world of real things—a place measured in units of i. The square root of –1, which of course doesn’t exist. Mathematicians call it an imaginary number.

Because Alice shows effects from obeying instructions ‘Drink me or Eat me’ down there is in literal sense while in real world what one faces is no less embarrassing as losing face or feeling small. In short our existence is the axis around which both irrational and real world make their claims on us, even if it is only limited to a nightmare. This equation is all pervasive in human affairs where an element of irrationality is in-built.

We cannot multiply a number by itself to produce a negative number anymore than we can repeat a dream by our will, The letter i is therefore used as a sort of stand-in to mark places where this was done.

The Queen of Hearts in the Lewis Carroll’s story might order about but Alice holds the ultimate authority and when she asserts it shows what is wrong with the authority of the Queen. She is only a number in the deck of playing cards.

e + 1 = 0

In the Euler’s Identity Alice is the constant 1. As seen earlier her place in the equation makes the pother and the strange procedure of the trial of the Knave of Hearts as zero another constant!

The beauty of the Euler’s theorem is that it has a transcendental quality of human existence where a person or an event (represented by the number 1) can undo all the carefully orchestrated Power Games of nations to mean nothing. Even while Austro-Hungarian monarchy or Dual Monarchy was lording over the ethnic minorities of the Balkans little did it realize a single event like assassination of the Archduke of Austria (1914) would bring down the empire like a pack of cards!

Similarly all that the Great Britain had amassed as a maritime nation, with colonies stretched into far corners of the globe (The Sun will never set on their empire’) shall with two Great Wars evaporate.(the constant 1 can represent both Great Wars as one set)




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`I didn’t know that Cheshire cats always grinned; in fact, I didn’t know that cats could grin.’
`They all can,’ said the Duchess; `and most of ’em do.’
`I don’t know of any that do,’ Alice said very politely, feeling quite pleased to have got into a conversation.
`You don’t know much,’ said the Duchess; `and that’s a fact.’
(Through the Looking Glass–Lewis Carroll)
More we understand cosmos we are faced with a world that begins to look more like the world through the looking glass. Just as well. We equated our material world as neat and precise as Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man. Our religion consequently delineated a divine connection between the human form and the universe. It is true depending on what we are looking for. Suppose we looked for our place in the universe in terms of thermal imaging the resulting picture would be altogether different. Would it not?
The Vitruvian man is as true as an infrared picture of man in its own way. Our rational world holds both as true. One we see with our naked eye and the other with special photography.
What of a portrait of man in terms of quantum physics? How do we account for the role of God, our moral responsibility and belief systems?
Enter Majorana fermion. The world of science is buzz with an elusive particle that is its own antiparticle may have been found, and, if confirmed, would be the first time a phenomenon predicted decades ago has been seen in a real system. In a paper published in the journal Science Thursday, Vincent Mourik and Leo P. Kouwenhoven said they were able to make the Majorana fermions appear by exposing a small circuit to a magnetic field.
Majorana fermions are so special because they are different from other fermions, which have antiparticles — particles that have the same mass but opposite charge.
Bosons, however, are particles that are their own antiparticle, and they don’t annihilate when they touch each other. Majorana fermions however act as their own antiparticles. Majoranas will annihilate when they meet their antimatter cousins.
Does this matter when we talk of our rational world and religion as a matter of certain practices? For each religion these ceremonies are vital. A pilgrim during the Hajj will ceremoniously stone ‘Satan’ and Pope will ceremoniously wash the Catholic pilgrim’s feet. All these ceremonies are alright. But is it all to religion? We in practice strain a gnat and miss out a camel. Five times you pray and it has a gnat’s worth of blessedness. But by slaughtering ‘infidels’ are you not losing a camel’s load blessedness in another way?
A little knowledge of Allah or of God from prophets and books drives man to make a distinction between infidels and believers; and fools determine who goes to hell and who to heaven. Neither do they in fact understand what is like.
If they had shown tolerance instead, it would have made their nonsense something lustrous like Lewis Carroll’s fantasy. Coming to the Cheshire cat it smiled unlike cats and it remained even when its body had disappeared. Our good sense, tolerance and compassion should likewise remain our calling card whether here or there.

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