The Mathematics Portal
Mathematics is the study of representing and reasoning about abstract objects (such as numbers, points, spaces, sets, structures, and games). 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 mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind. There is no clear line separating pure and applied mathematics, and practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered. (Full article...)
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In Euclidean plane geometry, Apollonius's problem is to construct circles that are tangent to three given circles in a plane (Figure 1). Apollonius of Perga (c. 262 BC – c. 190 BC) posed and solved this famous problem in his work Ἐπαφαί (Epaphaí, "Tangencies"); this work has been lost, but a 4th-century AD report of his results by Pappus of Alexandria has survived. Three given circles generically have eight different circles that are tangent to them (Figure 2), a pair of solutions for each way to divide the three given circles in two subsets (there are 4 ways to divide a set of cardinality 3 in 2 parts).
In the 16th century, Adriaan van Roomen solved the problem using intersecting hyperbolas, but this solution does not use only straightedge and compass constructions. François Viète found such a solution by exploiting limiting cases: any of the three given circles can be shrunk to zero radius (a point) or expanded to infinite radius (a line). Viète's approach, which uses simpler limiting cases to solve more complicated ones, is considered a plausible reconstruction of Apollonius' method. The method of van Roomen was simplified by Isaac Newton, who showed that Apollonius' problem is equivalent to finding a position from the differences of its distances to three known points. This has applications in navigation and positioning systems such as LORAN. (Full article...)
In mathematics, a group is a non-empty set and an operation that combines any two elements of the set to produce a third element of the set, in such a way that the operation is associative, an identity element exists and every element has an inverse. These three axioms hold for number systems and many other mathematical structures. For example, the integers together with the addition operation form a group. The concept of a group and the axioms that define it were elaborated for handling, in a unified way, essential structural properties of very different mathematical entities such as numbers, geometric shapes and polynomial roots. Because the concept of groups is ubiquitous in numerous areas both within and outside mathematics, some authors consider it as a central organizing principle of contemporary mathematics.
In geometry groups arise naturally in the study of symmetries and geometric transformations: The symmetries of an object form a group, called the symmetry group of the object, and the transformations of a given type form a general group. Lie groups appear in symmetry groups in geometry, and also in the Standard Model of particle physics. The Poincaré group is a Lie group consisting of the symmetries of spacetime in special relativity. Point groups describe symmetry in molecular chemistry. (Full article...)
Zhang Heng (Chinese: 張衡; AD 78–139), formerly romanized as Chang Heng, was a Chinese polymathic scientist and statesman who lived during the Han dynasty. Educated in the capital cities of Luoyang and Chang'an, he achieved success as an astronomer, mathematician, seismologist, hydraulic engineer, inventor, geographer, cartographer, ethnographer, artist, poet, philosopher, politician, and literary scholar.
Zhang Heng began his career as a minor civil servant in Nanyang. Eventually, he became Chief Astronomer, Prefect of the Majors for Official Carriages, and then Palace Attendant at the imperial court. His uncompromising stance on historical and calendrical issues led to his becoming a controversial figure, preventing him from rising to the status of Grand Historian. His political rivalry with the palace eunuchs during the reign of Emperor Shun (r. 125–144) led to his decision to retire from the central court to serve as an administrator of Hejian Kingdom in present-day Hebei. Zhang returned home to Nanyang for a short time, before being recalled to serve in the capital once more in 138. He died there a year later, in 139. (Full article...)
General relativity is a theory of gravitation developed by Albert Einstein between 1907 and 1915. The theory of general relativity says that the observed gravitational effect between masses results from their warping of spacetime.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Newton's law of universal gravitation had been accepted for more than two hundred years as a valid description of the gravitational force between masses. In Newton's model, gravity is the result of an attractive force between massive objects. Although even Newton was troubled by the unknown nature of that force, the basic framework was extremely successful at describing motion. (Full article...)
Josiah Willard Gibbs (/ɡɪbz/; February 11, 1839 – April 28, 1903) was an American scientist who made significant theoretical contributions to physics, chemistry, and mathematics. His work on the applications of thermodynamics was instrumental in transforming physical chemistry into a rigorous inductive science. Together with James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann, he created statistical mechanics (a term that he coined), explaining the laws of thermodynamics as consequences of the statistical properties of ensembles of the possible states of a physical system composed of many particles. Gibbs also worked on the application of Maxwell's equations to problems in physical optics. As a mathematician, he invented modern vector calculus (independently of the British scientist Oliver Heaviside, who carried out similar work during the same period).
In 1863, Yale awarded Gibbs the first American doctorate in engineering. After a three-year sojourn in Europe, Gibbs spent the rest of his career at Yale, where he was a professor of mathematical physics from 1871 until his death in 1903. Working in relative isolation, he became the earliest theoretical scientist in the United States to earn an international reputation and was praised by Albert Einstein as "the greatest mind in American history." In 1901, Gibbs received what was then considered the highest honor awarded by the international scientific community, the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London, "for his contributions to mathematical physics." (Full article...)
Emery Molyneux (/ˈɛməri ˈmɒlɪnoʊ/ EM-ər-ee MOL-in-oh; died June 1598) was an English Elizabethan maker of globes, mathematical instruments and ordnance. His terrestrial and celestial globes, first published in 1592, were the first to be made in England and the first to be made by an Englishman.
Molyneux was known as a mathematician and maker of mathematical instruments such as compasses and hourglasses. He became acquainted with many prominent men of the day, including the writer Richard Hakluyt and the mathematicians Robert Hues and Edward Wright. He also knew the explorers Thomas Cavendish, Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh and John Davis. Davis probably introduced Molyneux to his own patron, the London merchant William Sanderson, who largely financed the construction of the globes. When completed, the globes were presented to Elizabeth I. Larger globes were acquired by royalty, noblemen and academic institutions, while smaller ones were purchased as practical navigation aids for sailors and students. The globes were the first to be made in such a way that they were unaffected by the humidity at sea, and they came into general use on ships. (Full article...)
In mathematics, the Euclidean algorithm, or Euclid's algorithm, is an efficient method for computing the greatest common divisor (GCD) of two integers (numbers), the largest number that divides them both without a remainder. It is named after the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid, who first described it in his Elements (c. 300 BC).
It is an example of an algorithm, a step-by-step procedure for performing a calculation according to well-defined rules,
and is one of the oldest algorithms in common use. It can be used to reduce fractions to their simplest form, and is a part of many other number-theoretic and cryptographic calculations.
The Euclidean algorithm is based on the principle that the greatest common divisor of two numbers does not change if the larger number is replaced by its difference with the smaller number. For example, 21 is the GCD of 252 and 105 (as 252 = 21 × 12 and 105 = 21 × 5), and the same number 21 is also the GCD of 105 and 252 − 105 = 147. Since this replacement reduces the larger of the two numbers, repeating this process gives successively smaller pairs of numbers until the two numbers become equal. When that occurs, they are the GCD of the original two numbers. By reversing the steps or using the extended Euclidean algorithm, the GCD can be expressed as a linear combination of the two original numbers, that is the sum of the two numbers, each multiplied by an integer (for example, 21 = 5 × 105 + (−2) × 252). The fact that the GCD can always be expressed in this way is known as Bézout's identity. (Full article...)
In mathematics, 0.999... (also written as 0.9, in repeating decimal notation) denotes the repeating decimal consisting of an unending sequence of 9s after the decimal point. This repeating decimal represents the smallest number no less than every decimal number in the sequence (0.9, 0.99, 0.999, ...); that is, the supremum of this sequence. This number is equal to 1. In other words, "0.999..." is not "almost exactly" or "very, very nearly but not quite" 1 – rather, "0.999..." and "1" represent exactly the same number.
There are many ways of showing this equality, from intuitive arguments to mathematically rigorous proofs. The technique used depends on the target audience, background assumptions, historical context, and preferred development of the real numbers, the system within which 0.999... is commonly defined. In other systems, 0.999... can have the same meaning, a different definition, or be undefined. (Full article...)
Edward Wright (baptised 8 October 1561; died November 1615) was an English mathematician and cartographer noted for his book Certaine Errors in Navigation (1599; 2nd ed., 1610), which for the first time explained the mathematical basis of the Mercator projection by building on the works of Pedro Nunes, and set out a reference table giving the linear scale multiplication factor as a function of latitude, calculated for each minute of arc up to a latitude of 75°. This was in fact a table of values of the integral of the secant function, and was the essential step needed to make practical both the making and the navigational use of Mercator charts.
Wright was born at Garveston in Norfolk and educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow from 1587 to 1596. In 1589 the college granted him leave after Elizabeth I requested that he carry out navigational studies with a raiding expedition organised by the Earl of Cumberland to the Azores to capture Spanish galleons. The expedition's route was the subject of the first map to be prepared according to Wright's projection, which was published in Certaine Errors in 1599. The same year, Wright created and published the first world map produced in England and the first to use the Mercator projection since Gerardus Mercator's original 1569 map. (Full article...)
- The number π (/paɪ/; spelled out as "pi") is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, approximately equal to 3.14159. The number π appears in many formulae across mathematics and physics. It is an irrational number, meaning that it cannot be expressed exactly as a ratio of two integers, although fractions such as are commonly used to approximate it. Consequently, its decimal representation never ends, nor enters a permanently repeating pattern. It is a transcendental number, meaning that it cannot be a solution of an equation involving only sums, products, powers, and integers. The transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge. The decimal digits of π appear to be randomly distributed, but no proof of this conjecture has been found.
For thousands of years, mathematicians have attempted to extend their understanding of π, sometimes by computing its value to a high degree of accuracy. Ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians and Babylonians, required fairly accurate approximations of π for practical computations. Around 250 BC, the Greek mathematician Archimedes created an algorithm to approximate π with arbitrary accuracy. In the 5th century AD, Chinese mathematicians approximated π to seven digits, while Indian mathematicians made a five-digit approximation, both using geometrical techniques. The first computational formula for π, based on infinite series, was discovered a millennium later. The earliest known use of the Greek letter π to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter was by the Welsh mathematician William Jones in 1706. (Full article...)
Richard Phillips Feynman (/ˈfaɪnmən/; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga.
Feynman developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions describing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World, he was ranked the seventh-greatest physicist of all time. (Full article...)
Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor (/ˈkæntɔːr/ KAN-tor, German: [ˈɡeːɔʁk ˈfɛʁdinant ˈluːtvɪç ˈfiːlɪp ˈkantɔʁ]; March 3 [O.S. February 19] 1845 – January 6, 1918) was a mathematician. He played a pivotal role in the creation of set theory, which has become a fundamental theory in mathematics. Cantor established the importance of one-to-one correspondence between the members of two sets, defined infinite and well-ordered sets, and proved that the real numbers are more numerous than the natural numbers. Cantor's method of proof of this theorem implies the existence of an infinity of infinities. He defined the cardinal and ordinal numbers and their arithmetic. Cantor's work is of great philosophical interest, a fact he was well aware of.
Originally, Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers was regarded as counter-intuitive – even shocking. This caused it to encounter resistance from mathematical contemporaries such as Leopold Kronecker and Henri Poincaré and later from Hermann Weyl and L. E. J. Brouwer, while Ludwig Wittgenstein raised philosophical objections; see Controversy over Cantor's theory. Cantor, a devout Lutheran Christian, believed the theory had been communicated to him by God. Some Christian theologians (particularly neo-Scholastics) saw Cantor's work as a challenge to the uniqueness of the absolute infinity in the nature of God – on one occasion equating the theory of transfinite numbers with pantheism – a proposition that Cantor vigorously rejected. Not all theologians were against Cantor's theory; prominent neo-scholastic philosopher Constantin Gutberlet was in favor of it and Cardinal Johann Baptist Franzelin accepted it as a valid theory (after Cantor made some important clarifications). (Full article...)
Amalie Emmy Noether (US: /ˈnʌtər/, UK: /ˈnɜːtə/; German: [ˈnøːtɐ]; 23 March 1882 – 14 April 1935) was a German mathematician who made many important contributions to abstract algebra. She discovered Noether's First and Second Theorem, which are fundamental in mathematical physics. She was described by Pavel Alexandrov, Albert Einstein, Jean Dieudonné, Hermann Weyl and Norbert Wiener as the most important woman in the history of mathematics. As one of the leading mathematicians of her time, she developed some theories of rings, fields, and algebras. In physics, Noether's theorem explains the connection between symmetry and conservation laws.
Noether was born to a Jewish family in the Franconian town of Erlangen; her father was the mathematician Max Noether. She originally planned to teach French and English after passing the required examinations, but instead studied mathematics at the University of Erlangen, where her father lectured. After completing her doctorate in 1907 under the supervision of Paul Gordan, she worked at the Mathematical Institute of Erlangen without pay for seven years. At the time, women were largely excluded from academic positions. In 1915, she was invited by David Hilbert and Felix Klein to join the mathematics department at the University of Göttingen, a world-renowned center of mathematical research. The philosophical faculty objected, however, and she spent four years lecturing under Hilbert's name. Her habilitation was approved in 1919, allowing her to obtain the rank of Privatdozent. (Full article...)
Robert Hues (1553 – 24 May 1632) was an English mathematician and geographer. He attended St. Mary Hall at Oxford, and graduated in 1578. Hues became interested in geography and mathematics, and studied navigation at a school set up by Walter Raleigh. During a trip to Newfoundland, he made observations which caused him to doubt the accepted published values for variations of the compass. Between 1586 and 1588, Hues travelled with Thomas Cavendish on a circumnavigation of the globe, performing astronomical observations and taking the latitudes of places they visited. Beginning in August 1591, Hues and Cavendish again set out on another circumnavigation of the globe. During the voyage, Hues made astronomical observations in the South Atlantic, and continued his observations of the variation of the compass at various latitudes and at the Equator. Cavendish died on the journey in 1592, and Hues returned to England the following year.
In 1594, Hues published his discoveries in the Latin work Tractatus de globis et eorum usu (Treatise on Globes and Their Use) which was written to explain the use of the terrestrial and celestial globes that had been made and published by Emery Molyneux in late 1592 or early 1593, and to encourage English sailors to use practical astronomical navigation. Hues' work subsequently went into at least 12 other printings in Dutch, English, French and Latin. (Full article...)
- In classical mechanics, the Laplace–Runge–Lenz (LRL) vector is a vector used chiefly to describe the shape and orientation of the orbit of one astronomical body around another, such as a binary star or a planet revolving around a star. For two bodies interacting by Newtonian gravity, the LRL vector is a constant of motion, meaning that it is the same no matter where it is calculated on the orbit; equivalently, the LRL vector is said to be conserved. More generally, the LRL vector is conserved in all problems in which two bodies interact by a central force that varies as the inverse square of the distance between them; such problems are called Kepler problems.
The hydrogen atom is a Kepler problem, since it comprises two charged particles interacting by Coulomb's law of electrostatics, another inverse-square central force. The LRL vector was essential in the first quantum mechanical derivation of the spectrum of the hydrogen atom, before the development of the Schrödinger equation. However, this approach is rarely used today. (Full article...)
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James Clerk Maxwell FRSE FRS (13 June 1831 – 5 November 1879) was a Scottish mathematician and scientist responsible for the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, which was the first theory to describe electricity, magnetism and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" where the first one had been realised by Isaac Newton.
With the publication of "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" in 1865, Maxwell demonstrated that electric and magnetic fields travel through space as waves moving at the speed of light. He proposed that light is an undulation in the same medium that is the cause of electric and magnetic phenomena. The unification of light and electrical phenomena led to his prediction of the existence of radio waves. Maxwell is also regarded as a founder of the modern field of electrical engineering. (Full article...)
In mathematics, the telephone numbers or the involution numbers form a sequence of integers that count the ways n people can be connected by person-to-person telephone calls. These numbers also describe the number of matchings (the Hosoya index) of a complete graph on n vertices, the number of permutations on n elements that are involutions, the sum of absolute values of coefficients of the Hermite polynomials, the number of standard Young tableaux with n cells, and the sum of the degrees of the irreducible representations of the symmetric group. Involution numbers were first studied in 1800 by Heinrich August Rothe, who gave a recurrence equation by which they may be calculated, giving the values (starting from n = 0) (Full article...)
Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, quantum field theory, quantum technology, and quantum information science.
Classical physics, the collection of theories that existed before the advent of quantum mechanics, describes many aspects of nature at an ordinary (macroscopic) scale, but is not sufficient for describing them at small (atomic and subatomic) scales. Most theories in classical physics can be derived from quantum mechanics as an approximation valid at large (macroscopic) scale. (Full article...)
In mathematics, the derivative of a function of a real variable measures the sensitivity to change of the function value (output value) with respect to a change in its argument (input value). Derivatives are a fundamental tool of calculus. For example, the derivative of the position of a moving object with respect to time is the object's velocity: this measures how quickly the position of the object changes when time advances.
The derivative of a function of a single variable at a chosen input value, when it exists, is the slope of the tangent line to the graph of the function at that point. The tangent line is the best linear approximation of the function near that input value. For this reason, the derivative is often described as the "instantaneous rate of change", the ratio of the instantaneous change in the dependent variable to that of the independent variable. (Full article...)
- The Euclid–Euler theorem is a theorem in number theory that relates perfect numbers to Mersenne primes. It states that an even number is perfect if and only if it has the form 2p−1(2p − 1), where 2p − 1 is a prime number. The theorem is named after mathematicians Euclid and Leonhard Euler, who respectively proved the "if" and "only if" aspects of the theorem.
It has been conjectured that there are infinitely many Mersenne primes. Although the truth of this conjecture remains unknown, it is equivalent, by the Euclid–Euler theorem, to the conjecture that there are infinitely many even perfect numbers. However, it is also unknown whether there exists even a single odd perfect number. (Full article...)
- In mathematics, a free abelian group is an abelian group with a basis. Being an abelian group means that it is a set with an addition operation that is associative, commutative, and invertible. A basis, also called an integral basis, is a subset such that every element of the group can be uniquely expressed as an integer combination of finitely many basis elements. For instance the two-dimensional integer lattice forms a free abelian group, with coordinatewise addition as its operation, and with the two points (1,0) and (0,1) as its basis. Free abelian groups have properties which make them similar to vector spaces, and may equivalently be called free -modules, the free modules over the integers. Lattice theory studies free abelian subgroups of real vector spaces. In algebraic topology, free abelian groups are used to define chain groups, and in algebraic geometry they are used to define divisors.
The elements of a free abelian group with basis may be described in several equivalent ways. These include formal sums over , which are expressions of the form where each is a nonzero integer, each is a distinct basis element, and the sum has finitely many terms. Alternatively, the elements of a free abelian group may be thought of as signed multisets containing finitely many elements of , with the multiplicity of an element in the multiset equal to its coefficient in the formal sum.
Another way to represent an element of a free abelian group is as a function from to the integers with finitely many nonzero values; for this functional representation, the group operation is the pointwise addition of functions. (Full article...)
Srinivasa Ramanujan FRS (/ˈsriːnɪvɑːsə rɑːˈmɑːnʊdʒən/; born Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar, IPA: [sriːniʋaːsa ɾaːmaːnud͡ʑan ajːaŋgar]; 22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician. Though he had almost no formal training in pure mathematics, he made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems then considered unsolvable.
Ramanujan initially developed his own mathematical research in isolation. According to Hans Eysenck, "he tried to interest the leading professional mathematicians in his work, but failed for the most part. What he had to show them was too novel, too unfamiliar, and additionally presented in unusual ways; they could not be bothered". Seeking mathematicians who could better understand his work, in 1913 he began a postal correspondence with the English mathematician G. H. Hardy at the University of Cambridge, England. Recognising Ramanujan's work as extraordinary, Hardy arranged for him to travel to Cambridge. In his notes, Hardy commented that Ramanujan had produced groundbreaking new theorems, including some that "defeated me completely; I had never seen anything in the least like them before", and some recently proven but highly advanced results. (Full article...)
- In particle physics, quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics. In essence, it describes how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved. QED mathematically describes all phenomena involving electrically charged particles interacting by means of exchange of photons and represents the quantum counterpart of classical electromagnetism giving a complete account of matter and light interaction.
In technical terms, QED can be described as a perturbation theory of the electromagnetic quantum vacuum. Richard Feynman called it "the jewel of physics" for its extremely accurate predictions of quantities like the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron and the Lamb shift of the energy levels of hydrogen. (Full article...)
- In geometry, the Dehn invariant is a value used to determine whether one polyhedron can be cut into pieces and reassembled ("dissected") into another, and whether a polyhedron or its dissections can tile space. It is named after Max Dehn, who used it to solve Hilbert's third problem by proving that not all polyhedra with equal volume could be dissected into each other.
Two polyhedra have a dissection into polyhedral pieces that can be reassembled into either one, if and only if their volumes and Dehn invariants are equal. Having Dehn invariant zero is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for being a space-filling polyhedron, and a polyhedron can be cut up and reassembled into a space-filling polyhedron if and only if its Dehn invariant is zero. The Dehn invariant of a self-intersection-free flexible polyhedron is invariant as it flexes. Dehn invariants are also an invariant for dissection in higher dimensions, and (with volume) a complete invariant in four dimensions. (Full article...)
- The Alexandrov uniqueness theorem is a rigidity theorem in mathematics, describing three-dimensional convex polyhedra in terms of the distances between points on their surfaces. It implies that convex polyhedra with distinct shapes from each other also have distinct metric spaces of surface distances, and it characterizes the metric spaces that come from the surface distances on polyhedra. It is named after Soviet mathematician Aleksandr Danilovich Aleksandrov, who published it in the 1940s. (Full article...)
In graph theory, a component of an undirected graph is a connected subgraph that is not part of any larger connected subgraph. The components of any graph partition its vertices into disjoint sets, and are the induced subgraphs of those sets. A graph that is itself connected has exactly one component, consisting of the whole graph. Components are sometimes called connected components.
The number of components in a given graph is an important graph invariant, and is closely related to invariants of matroids, topological spaces, and matrices. In random graphs, a frequently occurring phenomenon is the incidence of a giant component, one component that is significantly larger than the others; and of a percolation threshold, an edge probability above which a giant component exists and below which it does not. (Full article...)
In graph theory, a book embedding is a generalization of planar embedding of a graph to embeddings into a book, a collection of half-planes all having the same line as their boundary. Usually, the vertices of the graph are required to lie on this boundary line, called the spine, and the edges are required to stay within a single half-plane. The book thickness of a graph is the smallest possible number of half-planes for any book embedding of the graph. Book thickness is also called pagenumber, stacknumber or fixed outerthickness. Book embeddings have also been used to define several other graph invariants including the pagewidth and book crossing number.
Every graph with n vertices has book thickness at most , and this formula gives the exact book thickness for complete graphs. The graphs with book thickness one are the outerplanar graphs. The graphs with book thickness at most two are the subhamiltonian graphs, which are always planar; more generally, every planar graph has book thickness at most four. All minor-closed graph families, and in particular the graphs with bounded treewidth or bounded genus, also have bounded book thickness. It is NP-hard to determine the exact book thickness of a given graph, with or without knowing a fixed vertex ordering along the spine of the book. Testing the existence of a three-page book embedding of a graph, given a fixed ordering of the vertices along the spine of the embedding, has unknown computational complexity: it is neither known to be solvable in polynomial time nor known to be NP-hard. (Full article...)
In the news
- 22 March 2023 –
- Argentine mathematician Luis Caffarelli wins this year's Abel Prize "for his seminal contributions to regularity theory for nonlinear partial differential equations including free-boundary problems and the Monge–Ampère equation". He becomes the first Latin American to win this prize. (The Guardian)
Did you know (auto-generated) -
- ... that after Archimedes first defined convex curves, mathematicians lost interest in their analysis until the 19th century, more than two millennia later?
- ... that Donn Piatt threw his mathematics teacher out of the window?
- ... that A Passage North, which is shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, is set in the aftermath of the Sri Lankan Civil War?
- ... that Coastal Carolina football coach Chad Staggs has degrees in math education and tourism management?
- ... that Piper Harron's 2016 mathematics doctoral thesis has been described as "feminist", "unique", "honest", "generous", and "refreshing"?
- ... that owner Matthew Benham influenced both Brentford FC in the UK and FC Midtjylland in Denmark to use mathematical modelling to recruit undervalued football players?
- ... that a mathematical conjecture about tiling space by cubes was transformed into a problem in graph theory that became a benchmark for clique-finding algorithms?
- ... that mathematician Daniel Larsen was the youngest contributor to the New York Times crossword puzzle?
More did you know –
- ...that it is possible for a three-dimensional figure to have a finite volume but infinite surface area, such as Gabriel's Horn?
- ... that as the dimension of a hypersphere tends to infinity, its "volume" (content) tends to 0?
- ...that the primality of a number can be determined using only a single division using Wilson's Theorem?
- ...that the line separating the numerator and denominator of a fraction is called a solidus if written as a diagonal line or a vinculum if written as a horizontal line?
- ...that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type the complete works of William Shakespeare?
- ... that there are 115,200 solutions to the ménage problem of permuting six female-male couples at a twelve-person table so that men and women alternate and are seated away from their partners?
- ... that mathematician Paul Erdős called the Hadwiger conjecture, a still-open generalization of the four-color problem, "one of the deepest unsolved problems in graph theory"?
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A Hilbert space is a real or complex vector space with a positive-definite Hermitian form, that is complete under its norm. Thus it is an inner product space, which means that it has notions of distance and of angle (especially the notion of orthogonality or perpendicularity). The completeness requirement ensures that for infinite dimensional Hilbert spaces the limits exist when expected, which facilitates various definitions from calculus. A typical example of a Hilbert space is the space of square summable sequences.
Hilbert spaces allow simple geometric concepts, like projection and change of basis to be applied to infinite dimensional spaces, such as function spaces. They provide a context with which to formalize and generalize the concepts of the Fourier series in terms of arbitrary orthogonal polynomials and of the Fourier transform, which are central concepts from functional analysis. Hilbert spaces are of crucial importance in the mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. (Full article...)
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