Look at examples of in sync movement. Calculus helps to understand gradual or constant changes in moving systems. In 1666, Newton creates calculus.
Host Dan Rockmore explains the relevance of calculus today. He describes infinitesimals and derivatives. Differential equations help to describe the movements of the planets.
Charles Peskin describes how he uses calculus to study synchronization in the heart. Glenn Fishmann describes his work studying cardiac arrhythmias.
Rockmore interviews Steve Strogatz to understand how mathematics are used to get from heart cells to pendulums. Strogatz explains that at an abstract level it does not matter if one is an inanimate object because there is a unity. He uses an example of runners on a track to explain cohesive units.
In 1656, mathematician Christiaan Huygens invents the pendulum clock. Rockmore describes how the inventor tested two clocks with syncing pendulums. Strogatz explains in more detail what is happening with the clocks.
London's Millennium Bridge is opened on June 10, 2000. Strogatz compares the vibrations of the bridge to the Huygens' pendulums, but points out that unlike the stabilizing vibrations in the pendulums, the people on the bridge destabilized it. He discusses mathematical sophistication in the bridge studies.
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The regular beating of the human heart, the simultaneous flashing of gangs of fireflies in Southeast Asia: these phenomena share the property of spontaneous synchronization. This unit shows how synchronization can be analyzed, and modeled via the mathematics of differential equations, an outgrowth of calculus.
Length: 27 minutes
Copyright date: ©2008
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