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 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:


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 
