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pythagoreanism 2.0?

December 18, 2013

An intriguing article about an intriguing discovery:

Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics

The description of the newly discovered geometric object, the amplituhedron, its ability to simplify complex mathematical formulas, and its existence’s suggestive consequences re: a possible new geometric approach to both particle interactions and the structure and evolution of the universe itself brings to mind some old Pythagorean ideas about math, nature, and harmony.

In particular, the description of a “‘master amplituhedron’ with an infinite number of facets” whose volume theoretically “represents the total amplitude of all physical processes” and its relationship to ‘lower-dimensional amplituhedra’ that “live on the faces of this master structure” and which “correspond to interactions between finite numbers of particles” is reminiscent of Pythagorean ideas re: the ‘infinite’ (apeiron) and its relationship to the ‘limited’ (peiron).

The former suggests that the laws of the universe are the way that they are because of the way the master geometry of the universe is shaped, while the latter suggests a harmonic and mathematical order to the way the limited takes shape or unfolds from the unlimited, emphasizing the role of numbers in understanding the universe, which in my opinion makes quantum physics sound almost like a type of neo-Pythagoreanism.

All they need to do at this point is to incorporate vegetarianism and a theory of rebirth into the mix and we’ll have Pythagoreanism 2.0.


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