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Can maths predict the universe?

Explaining the unreasonable effectiveness of the natural sciences in mathematics

By Marcus Chown   October 2019

Emmy Noether and Galileo's discoveries broke ground in mapping how maths corresponds to the Universe. Photo: Science History/Alamy Stock Photo, SSPL & Getty Images

Galileo was one of the first to realise a profound truth about the Universe: mathematics expresses perfectly the behaviour of the physical world. “Philosophy is written in the grand book (I mean the Universe) which stands continually open to our gaze,” he wrote. “But it cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written.…

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