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Mathematical Impacts Essay

The art of mathematics is an intrinsic part of the many physical sciences which humanity strives to learn; it began as a way to explain the celestial guides, which became the science of astronomy and astrophysics. This essay will explain the use of math in astronomy, chemistry, physics, and their relation. The study of astronomy is the oldest of the physical sciences it began as an inspiration. For the purpose of this essay, the study will begin with the ancient’s knowledge of this science.

They had many different views on how those nocturnal guides worked. Many of these civilizations studied their arrival and departure along with the weather to understand their own existence. Humboldt (1849) stated, “Physical laws depend upon mean numerical values; which shows us the constant amid change. ” This change was the foundation of time, time that would assist in measuring and explaining how those guides work. Boorstin (1985) explains that, “The first grand discovery was time, the landscape of experience.

He went further with his explanation of how important it was for humans to measure time, if it had been simple, humans would have, “lacked the incentive to study the heavens and to become mathematicians. ” With the use of this curiosity, humans searched and learned how they worked. Math had made it possible to understand this aspect of the cosmos, yet there were some differences on how they really worked. The Greeks were the first to “propose explanations for the motions of astronomical objects that relied on logic and geometry” Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit (2004).

Math, helped explain, and defy the beliefs held for many years. The Greeks created a geocentric model, which places the earth in the center of the universe. This was attributed, to Thales (c. 624-546 B. C. ), which many other Greeks held to be true even after another Greek named Aristarchus (c. 310-230 B. C. ) “Suggested that the Earth goes around the Sun, a view that ultimately prevailed, but until almost 2,000 years later” Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit (2004). With all of this in mind, the mathematicians who followed these great men of genius will utilize the ideas and mathematical equations in search of the truth.

It is important to understand that in order for these new discoveries be found, the evolution of logic, math, and other sciences, which derived from the mathematical ideals of the past. To put it in a better perspective of how these evolutions helped these advancements, it is important to understand that before the discovery of the telescope, calculations and logical premises made the old discoveries. It is said, that the greatest naked-eye observer of all time was Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), which witnessed a supernova and declared it farther away from the moon.

In his lifetime, the telescope had not been invented yet, but with this new invention came new discoveries. History of Chemistry The earliest practical knowledge of chemistry was metallurgy, pottery, and dyes. These crafts were development with much skill, but with no understanding of the principles involved. The Greek philosophers first formulated the basic concept of elements and compound during the time of 500 to 300 B. C. With variations of opinion, but it was generally believed that four elements, air, fire, water and earth combined formed all things.

Around the beginning of the Christian era in Alexandria, the ancient Egyptian industrial arts and Greek philosophical speculations were joined into a new science. It was said that chemistry or alchemy was to be mingled with occultism and magic. The focus was the transmutation of base metal into gold, the imitation of precious gems, and the search of the elixir life, which the Greeks thought would grant them immortality. In the 7th century A. D. the Muslims dominated in chemistry. They diffused the remains of the Hellenistic civilization to the Arab world. The first chemical treaties that became well known in Europe were the Latin translators.

Their chemistry work was made in Spain 1100 A. D. The development of chemistry grew extensively during the Middle Ages, it cultivated immensely by itinerant scholars who traveled over Europe looking for patrons. Evolution of Modern Chemistry Under the direction of Oxford Chemists (Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, and John Mayow) chemistry began to emerge as distinct from the pseudoscience of alchemy. Boyle (1627-1691) is often called the founder of modern chemistry. He performed experiments under reduced pressure, while using an air pump, and he discovered that volume and pressure are inversely related in gases.

Hooke gave the first rational explanation of combustion and Mayow focused his study on animal respiration. As the chemists were moving towards their finding to formulate a correct theory of combustion, they were interjected by another theory. Two Germans by the name J. J. Becher and G. E. Stall introduced the false phlogiston theory of combustion, which claimed that the substance phlogiston is contained in all combustible bodies and escapes when bodies are burned. During the phlogiston period, the discovery of different gases and the analysis of air as a mixture occurred several chemists.

Carbon dioxide, first described by J. B. Van Helmont and rediscovered by Joseph Black in 1754, was originally referred to as fixed air. Hydrogen, first discovered by Boyle and carefully studied by Henry Cavendish, was called inflammable air. Cavendish also proved that the explosion of hydrogen and oxygen produces water. C. W. Scheele found that air is composed of two fluids, which only one supports combustion. In 1771-1173, Scheele was also the first to acquire pure oxygen, but he did not recognize oxygen as an element. Joseph Priestly independently discovered oxygen by heating the red oxide found on mercury with burning glass.

He was known to be the last great defender of the phlogiston theory. At the end of the 19th century the electron and radioactivity was discovered. Transmutation of the, first achieved by Ernest Rutherford, has led to the creation of elements not found in nature that elements weighing more than uranium have been produced. With the fast developments of polymer chemistry (after World War II), a multitude of new synthetic fibers and materials have been added to the market. A better understanding of the relationship between the structure of molecules and their properties has allowed chemists to tailor new materials that meet specific needs.

Mathematics in Chemistry Chemistry is highly visual and mathematics plays a large role in chemistry. Geometric visualization is one of the highest priorities for chemists. Synthetic chemistry entails being able to visualize structures, atomic, and molecular orbital in three dimensions. Calculus is the core of the mathematics in Chemistry. Chemists have to have the essential techniques down to integration and differentiation of polynomials, logarithms, exponentials, and trigonometric functions, differentiation of inverse functions, and integration by parts.

Norman C. Craig, member of the American Chemical Society states, “What they considered most important are the ideas of calculus: derivative as slope or rate of change, integral as area or accumulator, knowing what is held constant in partial derivative, understanding the interplay of graphical, symbolic, and numerical interpretations, being able to read and write calculus as language for describing complex interactions” (Craig, 2001).

Finally, chemists must also have mathematical reasoning. They must be able to follow and apply algebraic arguments if they are to understand the relationship between various mathematical expressions, adapt these expressions to specific applications, and see that most mathematical expressions can be recovered from fundamental relationships. When chemists use logic, organized thinking and abstract reasoning, they are using the skills that are derived from mathematics.

Physics is: “branch of science traditionally defined as the study of matter, energy, and the relation between them; it was called natural philosophy until the late 19th century and is still known by this name at a few universities. Physics is in some senses the oldest and most basic pure science; its discoveries find applications throughout the natural sciences, since matter and energy are the basic constituents of the natural world.

The other sciences are generally more limited in their scope and may be considered branches that have split off from physics to become sciences in their own right. Physics today may be divided loosely into classical physics and modern physics” (www. answers. com, 2005). Energy is the ability to do work and can be found in many different forms. Energy can be found in the form of chemical, mechanical, nuclear, electrical, heat (thermal energy), and light (radiant energy). Energy makes everything happen and can be divided into two types: stored or potential energy and moving or kinetic energy.

The basic way to measure energy is by BTU (British thermal unit) invented by the English it equals the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level. To put this into layman’s terms, for Americans one BTU equals the amount of energy of one blue-tip kitchen match. It takes approximately 2,000 BTUs to make a pot of coffee. Energy can also be measured in joules; 1,000 joules are equal to one BTU. One joule is the amount of energy needed to lift a one-pound item to a height of nine inches.

The joule was named after an English scientist whose last name was Joule; he discovered that heat is a type of energy. Energy can be transformed into another type of energy but cannot be created or destroyed, it always exists in one form or another. For example, stored energy in a flashlight’s batteries becomes light energy when the flashlight is turned on, and a television changes electrical energy into light and sound energy. A car uses stored chemical energy in gasoline to move, the engine then changes the chemical energy into heat and kinetic energy to power the car.

Food is also stored energy; it is stored as a chemical with potential energy and becomes kinetic energy when your body uses that energy to do work. We use mathematics to measure the physics that come into play in our everyday lives. Though most of us do not usually think about measuring the amount of energy that our engines in our cars use to get us to and from work, we do measure the number of miles we travel and how many miles we are getting per gallon of gasoline, so in a sense we are measuring the energy, but looking at it in a different way.

Just like those that count carbohydrates or fat grams in the food that they intake, they are essentially counting how much stored energy will be in their bodies in relation to how much kinetic energy they will exert. Without mathematics there would be so little in the way of advancement in technology, education, and ease in our day-to-day lives. The world could not function without math, whether we are talking about physics, chemistry, or astronomy. All of these sciences use math to measure and calculate the different aspects, which are involved.

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