Why is there a correspondence between Math/Physics and Technology?

Bertrand Russell's Barber

Si/Ni dom
This question may sound stupid to you but do take note that back in the day, I think before Euler's time, Technology had nothing to do with the preoccupations of math or physics.

As someone who works in/with technology and understands how some of it works, it's sometimes really ridiculous to me that things continue working relatively okay and the whole world doesn't just collapse or something. I sometimes worry about it quite a bit.

We take technology for granted so much to the extent that we get pissed off when something doesn't work. Well, for people who dabble in technology, you know that things fail to work a lot more often than the times they actually work.

So it's just crazy to me that there was this guy maxwell and a bunch of other guys like faraday etc and Newton et al before them who wrote down a few principles in mathematical form and we are able to take those equations, add boundary conditions and loss terms and get shit working in the end.

It's just amazing.

What I wrote above is kind of a mess but I'll keep it there anyway for context.

I think what I'm asking fundamentally is what is math and what is its relationship with reality?

Nowadays science precedes technology. Wasn't always the case as in the beginning, before Newton et al, there wasn't really any science to speak of in the mathematical, empirical sense of the word.

Will it continue this way? Is it possible now to come up with some technology that makes stuff work but that we have no scientific (in terms of mathematical/empirical models) explanation for?

P.S. Try to keep all that pseudoscientific/wishywashy stuff away from this thread if possible please, thanks.

The Grey Man

Well-Known Member
I think what I'm asking fundamentally is what is math and what is its relationship with reality?
Einstein said:
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
As I understand it, Einstein is half-right here. As far as the laws of mathematics are isomorphic with those of reality, they are certain, and as far as they are certain, that with which they are isomorphic is not certain to be real. And if a deductive system doesn't correspond perfectly to that feature of reality which it is supposed to describe, this is not a flaw in the system, but its abuse. Deductive systems are timeless and without error; it is men that need to toil for many lifetimes and make many mistakes in order to illuminate their mysteries.

Newton said:
Errors are not in the art but in the artificers.
William Ewart Napier said:
Of chess, it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess.
There is no correspondence between mathematics and reality except where elements of the former are used as a description of the latter. The language of science is (applied) mathematics, but (pure) mathematics are not necessarily the language of science (though these two classes of mathematic do interact with and influence each other).

Cognisant

Prolific Member
The horizon of technological development has for the most part receded beyond the limits of the human body, I can't figure out how much current a copper wire can take by just using my hands and eyes, I need a tool to measure what my body has no senses for.

Math and language are tools, I can guess how strong a steel beam is but if I know the beam's thickness and the properties of the grade of steel it's made from I can calculate its strength far more accurately.

Animekitty

I am all of my perception (Sally 666)
Math is nothing but describing relationships.
Any reality is bound to have set relationships in it.
Technology follows rules which are forms of relations in this reality.

travelnjones

Active Member
Generally there are two schools of thought around math. 1. that we discovered math that was hiding in the universe. 2. That we invented math to describe the universe.

But before that you need to figure out what you mean by reality. I perceive what is happening as not material in nature. I understand I am in the minority there. But should you be talking about the material world Math is the basic language of describing space volume and extension.

Kuu

back in the day, I think before Euler's time, Technology had nothing to do with the preoccupations of math or physics.
WORNG

Nowadays science precedes technology. Wasn't always the case as in the beginning, before Newton et al, there wasn't really any science to speak of in the mathematical, empirical sense of the word.
WORNG AGAIN

You have one life remaining.

onesteptwostep

Think.. Be... ..buzz buzz :)
I have no clue on the historicity of the relationship between 'technology and science', but I like to think of 'science' as just 'the details'. So if you divorce the word 'science' from the whole general 'scientificism' and make it into a neutral word, I think it's possible to explain anything. But for certain things, it would be impossible to explain in mathematical models, because mathematical models pertain to things that exist materialistically. If you've been wondering down to the relation between the material and the mental, then I think concepts such as the Heisenberg Principle or if you want to take an artistic approach, the Mona Lisa, could be a lead. Some things are just beyond the reach of the empirical.

Bertrand Russell's Barber

Si/Ni dom
I can't figure out how much current a copper wire can take by just using my hands and eyes, I need a tool to measure what my body has no senses for.

Math and language are tools, I can guess how strong a steel beam is but if I know the beam's thickness and the properties of the grade of steel it's made from I can calculate its strength far more accurately.
So the need to utilise stuff beyond the reach of our senses requires us to have a means of being able to measure those things with devices we create using our senses and so on. So I guess in that sense, it makes sense that the deeper you probe (smaller or bigger), the "weirder" your mathematical tools get. (like with GR and QFT and so on in physics)

I suppose when you abstract from our common sense world, you have euclidean geometry and natural number arithmetic to start things off from and then as you probe deeper, you use abstractions derived from these objects like groups and rings and fields from the latter and differential geometry from the former and then algebraic topology and algebraic geometry as different types of synthesis between the two and so on and homotopy theory and so on.

I guess I can more or less accept that for now.

You have one life remaining.
What sort of weird creature has 3 lives? I thought the accepted values were 0,1, or 9.

Active Member
What sort of weird creature has 3 lives? I thought the accepted values were 0,1, or 9.
Some classic video game characters.

sushi

Well-Known Member
you mean technology and design or technology and engineering?

a_ghost_from_your_past

Ujames1978Eternally
Never reading into the specifics of this particular string of arguments,
but just regarding the topic:
"Why is there a correspondence between Math/Physics and Technology?"

Because technology is pretty much defined as applied mathematics in combination with applied physics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_materialism

You can listen to this while you're at it:

Artsu Tharaz

Resident Resident
Because technology is pretty much defined as applied mathematics in combination with applied physics.
No... technology is technology and maths is maths.

One could ask: how is it that maths can be applied at all?

The world operates according to logical principles, and mathematics forms abstractions of things that can exist in the world (or are conjured up from the imagination and may or may not have real counterparts) and then looks at the logical principles which stem from a set of well-formed axioms.

So we have a correspondence between the inner and outer worlds.

a_ghost_from_your_past

Ujames1978Eternally
TECH=MATH+PHYS
Probably since the egyptians figured out how to move animal dung across a field.
By a farm animal and a tool called the plow.
If you remove the maths and the physics you have no technology.
(Of course LOGIC or CONCEPTUALIZATION is the PRIMARY stage.
But without the application of the following all is just an idea.)

Artsu Tharaz

Resident Resident
If you remove the maths and the physics you have no technology.
Aren't you begging the question? Technology is the physical system which we use for technological purposes. Perhaps it could be conjured up by casting a spell instead. The question is why, when you remove the maths/physics, are you left without (much) technology?

a_ghost_from_your_past

Ujames1978Eternally
And i fail to see any argument against the point i previously made.

a_ghost_from_your_past

Ujames1978Eternally
So, Artsu...
I have previously showcased that technology is applied science, to the point of demonstrating that by removal of applied science, technology is "merely an idea"/"nothing".
You in return asked why that is.
I gather from your inquiry, that you failed to grasp the explanation.
What else can i do than to suggest to honestly ingest what has been formulated before?

a_ghost_from_your_past

Ujames1978Eternally
I'm sorry if i was cryptic before, i thought it might be more beneficial to your question if you took a look at this excellent documentary material:

Code:
The Ascent Of Man - 01 - Lower Than The Angels

The Ascent Of Man - 02 - Harvest of the Seasons
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ztord

The Ascent Of Man - 03 - The Grain In The Stone

The Ascent Of Man - 04 - Hidden Structure
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5o8i6u

The Ascent Of Man - 05 - Music of the Spheres
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5o8i79

The Ascent Of Man - 06 - The Starry Messenger
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x334243

The Ascent Of Man - 07 - The Majestic Clockwork
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6j399k
or
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1zzkos

The Ascent Of Man - 08 - The Drive For Power
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5o8i89

The Ascent Of Man - 09 - The Ladder of Creation
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5o8i8r

The Ascent Of Man - 10 - World Within World
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5o8i9r