A Philosopher’s Book That Helps Understand Mathematical Equations in Reality

Dr. Robert Crease of Stony Brook University, New York is the author of “Great Equations in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg” book in 2009 about how 10 mathematical equations have symbolic value in reality but he reminds that he is a philosopher and science historian NOT a scientist or mathematician. His work The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science” book in 2003 inspired one of the halls (named exactly as his book) of the-soon-to-open The Mind Museum late this year. He wrote the book specifically for non-scientist readers to help the public gauge the complexity of science and tell the stories behind them.

Here are the equations:

E = mc2    : The Celebrity Equation. Mariah Carey’s album was named after this, has been in the Time Magazine cover and the Dalai Lama mentions this as one of, if not the only equation he knows. This is also the equation that almost everyone knows but nobody knows what it is exactly is.

Euler’s Formula    : This is not an equation but does everything an equation does. One of the few equations ever used as evidence in a terrorism case trial 5-6 years ago and was discovered in a diary of a 14-yr old boy.

Maxwell’s Equation    : The most significant thing that happened in 19th century that even the wars like the American Civil War is less compared to this.It gave way to analogical reasoning in the history.


2nd Law of Thermodynamics : Simply explained this way. 1st Law means ”You can’t win” then 2nd Law means                                              “You can’t get even”


Pythagoras Equation    : A very funny and short equation. Everyone almost associates lots of things in this equation.

F = ma            : Equation that took thousands of years before discovered.


Equation of Gravitation : The famous Apple fall story.


Equation of Relativity This is where Einstein reached his summit and became famous. He used reasoning that very few people understand him.


Schroedinger’s Equation    : Intermediate levels of reality.


Uncertainty Principle    : The entire genre of this kind of principle can be pointed out in jobs and job hunting.

If there’s a person in his mind that this book was made because of, he said it’s his wife because she is a musician. Art works and music have uniqueness that can’t be related to mathematical equations. He also shares the word “beauty” or “beautiful” are always used a lot by scientists in laboratories. And it meant the same way the people use it in their everyday conversation like another author who said that “jokes are beautiful mathematical proofs” and his book also mentions this word in “The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments in Science”.

When asked what is his stand about the academic celebrity and theoretical physicist Stephen  Hawking’s view that God does not have something to do with the creation of the universe, he chooses not to comment. Dr. Crease is a monthly contributor for the international physics magazine “Physics World”. He also wrote articles for “The Atlantic”, “New York Times” and “Wall Street Journal”. The book is currently available in Fully Booked bookstore, Taguig.

Photo credit from Ms. Alex Limcaco of The Mind Museum

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