The only time you ever think about mathematical equations, was mostly during your time in high school and even then you had a lot of questions as why was this even relevant in my life? How is this ever going to impact me just going to the store or writing an email? Or negotiating my next salary package? Well, turns out there are 17 mathematical equations that have impacted our lives in a tremendous way.
In 2013, mathematician and and science author Ian Stewart published a book on 17 Equations That Changed The World. Today we will be highlighting the most important and popular that we might all be familiar with, or have come across in our lifetime. Larry Phillips was helpful enough to list these equations and we thought it would be great to pick our list for this week.
The Pythagorean Theorem: I think the most popular and well recognized theorem In school we were obviously taught that this theorem is the foundation to understanding geometry. It describes the relationships of a triangle on a flat plane. Applied to our lives, we see this theorem used in the construction of buildings ensuring that they remain squared, “When laying out a foundation, or constructing a square corner between two walls, construction workers will set out a triangle from three strings that correspond with these lengths. If the string lengths were measured correctly, the corner opposite the triangle’s hypotenuse will be a right angle” Sounds like a mouthful of mathematics, but this is sciencing at its best.
Navier-Stokes Equations: Like the wave equation, this is a differential equation. The Navier-Stokes equations describes the behavior of flowing fluids — water moving through a pipe, air flow over an airplane wing, or smoke rising from a cigarette. While there is only an approximate solution of the Navier-Stokes equation, which allow computers to simulate fluid motion quite well. it is still an open question, whether “it is possible to construct mathematically exact solutions to the equations. Million dollar prize is still up for grabs today! however in the real-world we live, this theory is applied in every video game we see, and it’s all in the details of smoke moving through the air on screen, or even our computer screen savers, or the motion of a soccer ball on its way to hit the back of the net.
Relativity Theory: Einstein being the most polarized physicist transformed the course of physics with his theory of general relativity. The classic equation E = mc2 states that matter and energy are equivalent to each other.
How does this affect your daily life? Take your car GPS Navigation for instance, for it to navigate as accurately as it does satellites have to send signals to ground stations here on earth and even though they may not be travelling at the speed of light, they still go super fast and since each satellite is 20,300 kilometers above the earth and moves at 10,000 km/hour. “There’s a relativistic time dilation that tacks on about 4 microseconds each day. Add in the effects of gravity and the figure goes up to about 7 microseconds. That’s 7,000 nanoseconds.”
I encourage everyone reading this to actually visit to search 17 equations that changes our lives, this was a true opener for myself and I hope everyone else reading this. I am even thinking there is a theory or equation that was written to make this keypad work.
I suppose in reality this is what we call, the foundation of any innovation and that any “new” technology has a root start to begin with. So as young developers, innovators, mathematicians out there let’s strive to answer the question of Navier-Stokes open ended equation or find new math equations that can be newly applied to our lives as African for Africans and the world. Moral of the story is… Don’t give up on math. It’s everywhere!