Thursday, March 26, 2015

Buckminster Fuller and Pi

Came across a super-nifty quote by renowned, eccentric-in-a-good-way master scientist Buckminster Fuller while struggling through his book Synergetics 2:

"My contemporaries and I were taught that in order to design a complete and exact sphere and have no materials left over, we must employ the constant known as pi, which I was also taught was a 'transcendentally irrational number,' meaning that it could never be resolved.  I was also informed that a singly existent bubble was a sphere; and I asked, To how many places does nature carry out pi when she makes each successive bubble in the white-cresting surf of each successive wave before nature finds out that pi can never be resolved?  And at what moment in the making of each separate bubble in the universe does nature decide to terminate her eternally frustrated calculating and instead turn out a fake sphere? ... "

- 986.088


This - this! - is what passionately intrigues me about mathematics, stuff that I may not be able to enunciate or even understand, but stuff that demands a response from me.

More of this please!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You need to talk with your oldest nephew. He was selected as a member of the Math Honor Society, and is thinking he wants to be a mathematician of some kind, possibly working for the FBI.You and he can share your mutual love of all things numbers :) -J