Segments in this Video

Numbers as God: Introduction (02:51)


Many describe math as the underlying language of the universe but few can agree on exactly what math is or its origins. Hannah Fry will explore the origins of math's power.

Invisible Math (03:53)

Math appears in unusual places; roller coasters rely on calculations of kinetic energy, tensile strength, momentum, and more. Fry considers the origins of numbers and where they "live." All cultures agree on the concept of numbers.

Origins of Math (04:25)

Experts cannot agree on whether math was invented or discovered. Math touches nearly every part of human existence. Fry examines the number pattern of a nautilus shell; it grows at a constant rate.

Hidden Mathematical Pattern (07:40)

Fry explains the Fibonacci sequence and identifies it in plants. Pythagoras and his followers were obsessed with numbers and experimented with music; hear a perfect fifth.

Geometric Shapes (03:45)

Math is a fundamental part of the world in which we live. Fry discusses Plato's beliefs that flawless circles do not exist in the real world and that platonic solids can represent everything in the cosmos.

Platonic Solids (04:22)

Prof. Max Tegmark believes these geometric shapes are an example of how math was discovered. Prof. Hiranya Peiris believes the platonic world is a human-made concept. Fry describes Plato's analogy of reality.

Virus Formation (02:32)

The natural world appears written in the language of math. Reidun Twarock examines how viruses use math to form their geometric shapes.

Natural Order or Human Concept? (05:01)

We find mathematical patterns in the world around us. Fry undergoes an fMRI scan to see which parts of her brain light-up when answering questions. See a comparison of language and math.

Innate Sense of Math? (03:20)

Dr. Sam Wass uses several tests to determine how young children react to different situations. Tests in the U.S. determine infants have a sense of quantity.

Mathematical Proofs (03:22)

"The Elements" outlines the foundation of math. Fry examines concepts in Euclid's book that are as true today as when they were written in Ancient Greece.

Language of Math (04:46)

Languages constantly evolve. The concept of zero arrived in Europe, from the Middle East, around the same time as the Christian crusades; it was first accepted as a proper number in India. Fibonacci recognized the potential of zero.

Positive, Negative, and Imaginary Numbers (06:09)

Zero allows all conceivable numbers to create a line; any number squared always results in a positive number. Fry explains the number i. Imaginary numbers are an efficient tool to manipulate radio waves.

Rene Descartes (05:10)

By the 17th century, intellectuals begin challenging authority. Descartes' series of dreams expands the horizons of mathematics; formulas describe shapes. Fry considers whether math was invented or discovered.

Credits: Numbers as God (00:36)

Credits: Numbers as God

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Numbers as God

Part of the Series : Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Math
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Mathematician Dr. Hannah Fry explores the mystery of math. It underpins so much of our modern world that it's hard to imagine life without its technological advances, but where does math come from? In this episode, Hannah goes back to the time of the ancient Greeks to find out why they were fascinated by the connection between beautiful music and math. She also meets experts who study the structure of viruses, experiment with infant understanding, and utilize the concept of imaginary numbers. The question of whether math is invented or discovered just got a whole lot more difficult to answer.

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL169041

ISBN: 978-1-64481-757-5

Copyright date: ©2018

Closed Captioned

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