What do we mean by exponential growth? How quickly does your bank balance grow? How quickly does a cup of tea cool, or radium decay? What shape is a washing line and what is the link with a single mysterious number?
Sometimes a solution can be reduced to a single element.
This story relates to the dilemma our society faces with every new technology. With gene editing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, science's unending possibilities also carry also carries cautionary tales.
Pi is one of those constants in the mathematical world. And because of that, it often appears in nature, particularly any that involves curves and spirals. But it would be too easy to derive pi from those very things - they are ordered, unchanging, predictable.
But what if pi can be derived from a series of improbable, unpredictable actions?
Nuclear chemistry is a field that straddles both physics and chemistry. This holds no surprise as chemistry is, in a way, a subset of applied physics. Therefore things that are usually linked to physics (radiation, and subatomic particles) can and will affect things we interact with in our lives - thing that are ultimately chemicals.
Just don't press your luck on becoming the Incredible Hulk.
The Institution for Science Advancement is a non-profit organisation that promotes inquiry-based science education in Malaysian schools based on the principles of truth, liberty and merit. The Institution for Science Advancement Ⓒ 2019