Unreasonable Effectiveness

I just thought I would link to a couple of classic essays today.  These deal with the slightly mind boggling link up between mathematics and physical theories – often we have some sort of (often rough) measurements and a nice, neat mathematical formula that fits them, then the formula will seem to give a “law of nature” that is hugely accurate beyond what we might reasonably expect.

Is this just an artefact of how we use mathematics, or is there really an underlying mathematical structure to the universe?  It gets towards something that Steven Weinberg described in the book I read recently – the idea of a Final Theory in physics.  I’m not sure where I would come down on this, but they make interesting reading.

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences by Eugene Wigner

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics by Hamming

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