Aesthetics I — One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: the Beauty in Equations
Imagine having a long sentence that you need to communicate to a lot of people. Wouldn't it be great to have a compact way of saying it? That is really the basis of the written word. And we choose various synomyms to communicate different subtlies of meaning. In mathematics the notation contains similar nuances but in addition, the relationships of things are drawn as a picture. Here's an example:

The strength of the force of gravity between two bodies is attractive, increases with an increase of one or both of the masses, and yet decreases in strength with increased separation of the bodies, and the change in strength is much greater for a change in distance than for a change in mass. The strength is also proportional to a constant which is the same constant everywhere in the universe. Since the force of gravity is inversely related to the square of the separation of the bodies, the force between the two bodies is never zero, even if they are on the far sides of the universe from each other! Whew!
The equation above on the right says all the words on the left, but as a picture. Handy, huh? And we physicists and mathematicians find great beauty in the compactness and elegance of such an equation.

Poetry works sort of the same way. A poem can be a compact, elegant way to describe an object or an emotion without the tediousness of spelling out every nuance. Like a mathematical equation, a poem can convey meaning through the relationships of the words used. A Haiku is a particular form of poetry that I liken to an elegant mathematical equation. For example:

The moment two bubbles
are united, they both vanish
A lotus blooms

.................................Kijo

And mathematical poetry might be:


Here are some discussion questions you might want to think about ==> ?


But whether or not you feel intellectual beauty in the form and shape of equations themselves, as I do, there is also beauty in the shapes equations describe, even if the mathematical meaning is not clear to you.

To see what I mean, click here ==> Aesthetics II — Mathematical Art