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.
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?
In our daily lives, there are two things that we can tell: random event, and those due to cause and effect. However some supposedly random things are simply organized in such a way that we can't help by recognising a cause to their non-coincidental effect.
We see it in nature (the Golden Ratio), and constructs by humans (the movement of share prices). But what about in pure numbers? Especially the most mysterious kind: prime numbers.
Chemistry, to put it simply, is just another application of physics. It's what happens when nature uses the laws that governs it to form tangible things. Things that reacts upon and interacts with one another.
And since the most basic application of physics is the atom, we must first look into this fundamental building material to understand even the most basic of chemical principles.
What is in a name? A lot if you're a biologist. Similarly how we have nuclear families, extended families, and far flung cousins, all species are related and some are closer to each other than others. Taxonomy is a way for us to keep track on where each species belong on the tree of life, it's part of our collective family history, so to speak.
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