David Kirkpatrick

January 8, 2010

” … perhaps the most beautiful structure in mathematics.”

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:34 pm

Via KurzweilAI.net — Do hit the “Read Original Article” link for this entire interesting intersection of mathematics, string theory and practical physics.

Most beautiful math structure appears in lab for first time
New Scientist Physics & Math, Jan. 7, 2010

A complex form of mathematical symmetry linked to string theory has been glimpsed in the real world for the firsttime, in laboratory experiments on exotic crystals.

The structure is also the basis for another proposed theory of everything advanced in 2007 by surfer-physicist Garrett Lisi, who refers to E8 as “perhaps the most beautiful structure in mathematics“.
Read Original Article>>

From the New Scientist link:

Radu Coldea of the University of Oxford and his colleagues chilled a crystal made of cobalt and niobium to 0.04 °C above absolute zero. Atoms in the crystal are arranged in long, parallel chains. Because of a quantum property called spin, electrons attached to the atom chains act like tiny bar magnets, each of which can only point up or down.

Strange things occurred when the experimenters applied a powerful 5.5-Tesla magnetic field perpendicular to the direction of these electron “magnets”. Patterns appeared spontaneously in the electron spins in the chains – in a simplified example with three electrons, the spins could read up-up-down or down-up-down, among other possibilities. Each distinct pattern has a different energy associated with it.

The ratio of these different energy levels showed that the electron spins were ordering themselves according to mathematical relationships in E8 symmetry.

2 Comments »

  1. […] ” … perhaps the most beautiful structure in mathematics.” « David … […]

    Pingback by Letters to the editor for Jan. 7, 2010 | Union Democrat | Sonora … | Tuolumne County CA Real Estate — January 9, 2010 @ 9:24 am

  2. […] theory of everything — davidkirkpatrick @ 5:30 pm Back in January I blogged about “the most beautiful structure in mathematics,” the basis of a physics theory-of-everything proposed by Garrett Lisi, That theory is part […]

    Pingback by Multiple choice theories of everything « David Kirkpatrick — March 5, 2010 @ 5:30 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: