Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letters From The Barn: The Math Of Spring

Letters From The Barn: The Math Of Spring

I went out to look at the stars last night. Actually, I went out because I couldn’t believe that the weather was so warm. The stars were a pleasant surprise.

There were only two, but they more than held their own. I assume they must have been planets to snatch my attention so fully in the black, night sky. They were only about an inch away from each other from my point of view. But, then, I was down on the ground on a spinning ball of dirt a few zillion miles away.

They reminded me of a line segment in math. Do  you remember those? Is it too far back? Do they still call them that?

I remember being taught the improbable idea that there was an uncountable, infinite amount of space between any two dots. In my case, these two stars. I never really believed it with those points and line segments in school. But, now, a few decades later seeing those two stars holding their own in the night sky, I think I finally understand math. There really is an endless amount of space in that tiny little inch.  

Author: Meriwether O'Connor