Thermal vision of snakes inspires soft pyroelectric materials

Converting heat into electricity is a property thought to be reserved only for stiff materials like crystals. However, researchers—inspired by the infrared (IR) vision of snakes—developed a mathematical model for converting ...

Reimagining the shape of noise leads to improved molecular models

Tenacity comes naturally to a guy who hails from the "mule capital of the world." That trait has stood Columbia, Tennessee, native Elliot Perryman in good stead as an intern at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley ...

Paddy soil fertilization can help reduce greenhouse effect

A soil scientist from RUDN University discovered the effect of fertilization on the ability of the soil to retain carbon. To understand this mechanism, he and his team studied the movement of organic carbon in the soil of ...

A new toolkit for capturing how COVID-19 impacts crime

A new set of assessment tools shows promise in capturing how the COVID-19 pandemic affects patterns of criminal activity. Hervé Borrion of University College London, U.K., and colleagues present this toolkit in the open-access ...

Modeling temperature variation on distant stars

New research is helping to explain one of the big questions that has perplexed astrophysicists for the past 30 years—what causes the changing brightness of distant stars called magnetars.

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Mathematics

Mathematics is the science and study of quantity, structure, space, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns, formulate new conjectures, and establish truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions.

There is debate over whether mathematical objects such as numbers and points really exist or whether they are manmade. The mathematician Benjamin Peirce called mathematics "the science that draws necessary conclusions". Albert Einstein, on the other hand, stated that "as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

Through the use of abstraction and logical reasoning, mathematics evolved from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written records go (see: History of Mathematics). Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Mathematics continued to develop, in fitful bursts, until the Renaissance, when mathematical innovations interacted with new scientific discoveries, leading to an acceleration in research that continues to the present day.

Today, mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new disciplines. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind, although practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered later.

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