Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Maths

Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Maths

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Photo: Dr. Hannah Fry

Provided by APT

Dr. Hannah Fry investigates how math came to be part of the human language.

Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Maths airs Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Dr. Fry meets with the best mathematical minds in the world today to answer one of science’s most profound questions: Where did math come from?

Most, if not all, of the technological advancements we enjoy in the modern world are due to math. However, many disagree on the beginnings of where math came from. Was it invented like a language, or was it always a part of the fabric of the universe and simply discovered? Dr. Fry meets with professors from institutions such as Columbia University, King’s College London, and more, who all have differing opinions.

Dr. Fry also explores inventors whose tools of the trade were pure mathematics, including Sir Issac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. The fact that mathematics alone was able to precisely predict the existence of their theories suggest math was discovered. However, Hannah also studies a mathematical paradox discovered by Bertrand Russell, which undermines the logic on which all of math is built and shows that math might be more imperfect than we think, like a language.