I am a mathematician interested in physics – and life. In here I hope to record thoughts that arise from my research, experiences as a mathematician, and whatever else I find interesting to share. The title of the blog is explained in this post.
A couple of comments about the header: the picture is of Tizi’n'Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. It was taken from Wikipedia, and is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license.
The blurb is from “The Hunting of the Snark” by Lewis Carroll. The next verses read:
“What’s the good of Mercator’s North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?”
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
“They are merely conventional signs!
“Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we’ve got our brave Captain to thank:”
(So the crew would protest) “that he’s bought us the best –
A perfect and absolute blank!”
Mathematics consists entirely of “merely” conventional signs – which, too, we need to navigate the real world. Without them, our understanding is quite perfect and absolute – and blank. Although admittedly, as you often hear, mathematics can be hard to understand.