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Thread: Mathematics is discovered not created. Music is the same. Double-slit experiment?

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    Mathematics is discovered not created. Music is the same. Double-slit experiment?

    Hi, just throwing this out there.

    Some would say that mathematics is discovered, not created - it is already there in some form in the universe.
    The same can be said of music?

    Does this also apply, or is there a link with this logic to the interference pattern generated by single particles in the double-slit experiment. ie the interference is caused because something is already there?

    I have no hypothesis or anything. Hence off topic babbling. Just curious. 🤔

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    Has anything ever been created or is everything discovered?

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    Mathematics is symbolic. It represents real-world values and amounts on paper, but putting it into a form that can be manipulated is a human brain's invention. Without us there are numbers and patterns, but no mathematics.

    Music is a series of sounds, most of which had not been previously put together in that order in nature. Human brains were involved in taking a random collection of noises and assembling them into music.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Mathematics is symbolic. It represents real-world values and amounts on paper, but putting it into a form that can be manipulated is a human brain's invention. Without us there are numbers and patterns, but no mathematics.
    At the risk of nitpicking: we invented the numbers, too.
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    A lot of math seems to exist in nature because people created math to describe nature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    At the risk of nitpicking: we invented the numbers, too.
    Hmm, I dunno. The names of numbers are a human invention, but "how many" is not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Hmm, I dunno. The names of numbers are a human invention, but "how many" is not.
    I would agree with you when "number" is used as a synonym for "quantity" (and similar constructions) but I think the most common usage—and the one that immediately comes to my mind—is when it means the word or symbol that arithmetically represents a quantity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alromario View Post
    Hi, just throwing this out there.

    Some would say that mathematics is discovered, not created - it is already there in some form in the universe.
    The same can be said of music?

    Does this also apply, or is there a link with this logic to the interference pattern generated by single particles in the double-slit experiment. ie the interference is caused because something is already there?

    I have no hypothesis or anything. Hence off topic babbling. Just curious. ��
    To some extent, I don't think this is question about the process (because we all know how mathematics and music comes into existence) but rather about the meaning of the words "discover" and "create" (and "invent" for that matter). Actually, in my work (doing communications for a research institute) this has come up, because we have a group that is one of a small number of labs around the world trying to synthesize new superheavy elements. So when you create a new element that has never been made by humans, how do you describe it? "Discover" is weird because it sounds like it already existed but you just found it. "Invent" is also weird because everybody (or rather, everybody who understands this type of physics) knows that you can create an element just by fusing two nuclei with atomic numbers that add up to it, so for example to make nihonium (113 protons) you just have to smash zinc (30) into bismuth (83). So generally, we say, "they were the first group to synthesize" but actually IUPAC (the organization that gives naming rights to elements" uses the word "discovery." So it's really not a question of how you make a new element but rather what the words mean.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I would agree with you when "number" is used as a synonym for "quantity" (and similar constructions) but I think the most common usage—and the one that immediately comes to my mind—is when it means the word or symbol that arithmetically represents a quantity.
    I'm used to the word "numeral" being used for the symbol, and "number" for the amount. But I guess it's all in what you grew up with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm used to the word "numeral" being used for the symbol, and "number" for the amount. But I guess it's all in what you grew up with.
    I think you're right. I was approaching it from the angle of a 'numbering system' which is very much a human construct. But you've reminded me that in mathmatics, as you said, a number is the abstract concept of a quantity while the numeral is what we ugly giant bags of mostly water* call that quantity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I think you're right. I was approaching it from the angle of a 'numbering system' which is very much a human construct. But you've reminded me that in mathmatics, as you said, a number is the abstract concept of a quantity while the numeral is what we ugly giant bags of mostly water* call that quantity.
    I agree, but I think that the distinction reinforces the point I was trying to make. I think everybody knows that hydrogen had "one" proton and helium "two" protons even before humans existed, whereas the labels that we give them ("numerals") are something we created. So basically, this seems a question about semantics rather than the nature of mathematics.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by alromario View Post
    alromario

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    Quote Originally Posted by alromario View Post

    Does this also apply, or is there a link with this logic to the interference pattern generated by single particles in the double-slit experiment. ie the interference is caused because something is already there?
    It seems to me like the interference would happen whether the circumstances of the double-slit happened in nature or by human actions.
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