Erwin Schrödinger and the Half-Alive Cat

Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger is one of the founders of quantum mechanics. In 1935, he posed this problem: imagine you take a cat and place it in a sealed box along with a radioactive device that had a 50% chance of killing the cat. In an hour, is the cat dead or alive? What do you think?

Srinivasa Ramanujan, taxicabs, and nested radicals

Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar (22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) is a 20th century mathematician who lived during the British Raj. Today, we are going to talk about 3 numbers related to Ramanujan: 1729, 3, and -1/12. Let us start the blog with 1729. Ramanujan’s professor Godfrey Harold Hardy came to visit him in hospital… Continue reading Srinivasa Ramanujan, taxicabs, and nested radicals

A Piece of Pi

Hello mathematicians! Today we are going to talk about \(\pi\) (aka Pi).

The discoverer of Pi is also the man who famously sat in a bathtub and discovered that the water level went up when he got in to the tub. Archimedes of Syracuse (287 BC – 212 BC) was an Italian-Greek mathematician, and he had come up with an approximation for Pi. We know that \(\pi = \dfrac{\text{Circumference}}{\text{Diameter}}\), but to get Pi, we need to measure a curved surface (the circumference). But Archimedes thought of it another way: a circle is actually a regular polygon, but it has an infinite number of sides and every side is infinitely small. Hence, the circle looks round.