Numbers: The Perfectly Reasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics

The Tides of God

A re-post of one of my favorites. Originally posted 3/23/14

THE FIRST TIME I EXPERIENCED THE DEEP CONNECTION BETWEEN MATH AND PHYSICAL REALITY was while performing a High School chemistry clatitration enhss experiment to discover whether the antacid Rolaids really did consume 47 times its weight in excess stomach acid. The experiment involved very precise weighing and an acid-base titration. I grew up in a small rural town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but there was a small NASA facility on the coast about twenty miles away, and since many parents worked there—including my father—we often got to borrow state of the art equipment. Our little chem lab had a high speed centrifuge, a sensitive electronic scale with an evacuation chamber—the scale was so accurate it could weigh the air inside the chamber—and elaborate titration equipment. We also had—wonder of wonders for that time—an electronic desk calculator that was about the same size…

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