Archives for the month of: November, 2015

Quantum Mechanical Derivation of the Wallis Formula for

Further evidence that the connections between mathematics and physics are non-trivial.


the quantity of things we call 1

put with the quantity of things we call 2

will always make the quantity of things we call 3

physical quantities are not the result of human number systems

human number systems are the result of our perception of physical quantity

Peter Woit, University of Columbia, ‘Towards a Grand Unified Theory of Mathematics and Physics’.

A paper which outlines some of the already established connections between number theory and physics, acknowledges that there are as yet no satisfactory explanations for these connections, and concludes it is an area which deserves much more attention.

What seems to be the central reason preventing mathematicians and physicists from acknowledging the significance of the connections between their respective fields is a fundamental, but understandable, misunderstanding about the nature of number systems. Numbers are considered to be abstract inventions of pure human imagination, and mathematical formulations are seen therefore as being based in nothing more than abstraction. As a consequence, the idea that number theory and physics are formally connected is rejected – even as the evidence for formal connections between the two fields is being examined and analysed as profound mystery.

This is a crucial mistake.

Number systems are at their most basic level, founded on the concretely physical property of quantity. Numerical relationships are quantitative relationships, and quantitative relationships are at the heart of physics.

(My bold)

“We extend the Hopf algebra description of a simple quantum system given previously, to a more elaborate Hopf algebra, which is rich enough to encompass that related to a description of perturbative quantum field theory (pQFT). This provides a mathematical route from an algebraic description of non-relativistic, non-field theoretic quantum statistical mechanics to one of relativistic quantum field theory. Such a description necessarily involves treating the algebra of polyzeta functions, extensions of the Riemann Zeta function, since these occur naturally in pQFT. This provides a link between physics, algebra and number theory. As a by-product of this approach, we are led to indicate inter alia a basis for concluding that the Euler gamma constant γ may be rational”.

Duchamp, Gérard H E, Hoang Ngoc Minh, Allan I Solomon, and Silvia Goodenough. “An Interface between Physics and Number Theory.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series 284.1 (2011): 17.