Mathematics was once considered the queen of sciences. It is the language and tool used by many other sciences.
Mathematics is gisaané (sand) of science.
It is the tool that allows many sciences to predict the existence of new organisms and unknown phenomena.
Thus, mathematics enabled astronomers to predict the existence of planets such as the astronomer Le Verrier with the planet Neptune, and physicists to predict the existence of particles such as the positron, the Higgs boson, etc.
Mathematics is magic, it captivates with the beauty of the logic it conveys, and terrifies with the fear it evokes.
Mathematics is above all a magician’s science.
They make possible what seems impossible. They have the ability, whenever nature has limits, it shows limitations, to create a new parallel world in which restrictions are lifted.
Zero is not a number from our language, visible in nature.
Can we see zero cow, zero notebook, zero chicken? of course not!
But mathematicians, thanks to abstraction, have created the very useful zero!
Today, no one can do without zero. What would the state of our science and technology be without this zero that the current language allocates.
The natural numbers 1, 2, 3 … are very familiar to us. When I have 100 Fahrenheit and pay off my 100 Fahrenheit, I’m left with 0 Fahrenheit. Negative numbers can be invented from adding two numbers and getting a zero, which is impossible with natural numbers.
The invention of fractions makes it possible to multiply two numbers and get it as a product of 1 which is impossible with integers other than 1.
The invention of complex numbers makes it possible to obtain new numbers whose square is negative.
Thus there is the complex number denoted by i which is realized
ixi = -1
Thanks to these complex numbers, all quadratic equations have at least one solution, which was not the case before.
Grade 12 students learn that the differential function is continuous.
Distributions were invented by mathematicians.
Distributions include non-continuous functions. It is derived. Thus, they make non-differentiable functions.
I could go on and on about the wonderland of mathematics.
You see, the impossible is not mathematical!
Dakar, Friday 14 July 2023
Professor Mary Teo Nyan
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