For My Math Consultants Part II: Newton Breakdown

mathhead

Alright Math Consultants, I want to tell a tiny story about math and I definitely need your help.

Here’s where this little story will fit in the film.

I have just finished talked about advances in Medieval technology and tools (the clock and the telescope most specifically). I describe these as the hardware of the era, and I say the software was math. I then use Galileo’s quote that nature is “a book written in mathematical characters.” Then I want to a brief montage talking about the advances in math. I want this montage to set-up Newton’s Principia. Ideally what I’d like to say is something like “this string of achievements set the stage for Newton’s theory of mechanics”.

The tone of this section is popular. I want anyone to be able to understand it. Think “Donald in Mathmagic Land.” It’s just a brief little journey through 17th century mathematics.

A list of five items would be plenty. Here are some potential ideas that could work.

So take a stab at it. Give me a list of five mathematical advances, briefly explain how they’re connected, and ideally, lead up to Newton’s mechanics.

Let me know if there are any questions!
Kirby

Questions For My Math Consultants

First of all, when you can spare thirty minutes, please take a look at the video above. It has some wonderful demonstrations of math and geometry. Any time you think it might be possible to relate concepts in this sort of fashion, I’d love to hear about it.

Now a bit about my math knowledge: I have little. Treat me like an idiot. It is possible some of what I’m asking simply can’t be conveyed in an accessible way. If that’s the case, just say so. Ultimately, I’m making a video that needs to be understood by people with no math knowledge.

Without further ado, on to my questions.

1) Newton’s universal gravitation is a law, not a theory. Correct?

2) How would logarithms be applied to astronomy? Would their use have been extensive?

3) Is it safe to say analytic geometry (the Cartesian coordinate system) linked the formerly separate worlds of algebra and geometry? Geometry could be rendered as algebra, algebra could be rendered as geometry.

4) How is Newton’s physics linked to analytic geometry? Is calculus built on analytic geometry?

5) Newton invented generalized binomial theorem. Is it possible to convey to laypeople how this differs from the previous version of binomial theorem?

Thanks for helping out everyone!
Kirby

Examples of magic in popular culture

thor_2_the_dark_world_movie-wideI’m seeking examples of magic in films, TV shows and games. By “magic” I mean supernatural abilities, powers that defy physics. (I don’t mean magic as in the contemporary sense of “illusionist.”) Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, and The Avengers are all examples.  However, I know about mainstream blockbusters like these, so I’m more interested in things that are  a notch or two below these in terms of popularity. (But I am weak in video game knowledge, so feel free to tell me about blockbusters there.)

Update: Sorry, I didn’t say this before, but the examples should be contemporary, within the last five years or so.

Thank you for your help and if you’re interested, I have a free copy of the awesome Mac writing application Scrivener to give away. If you’d like to enter the giveaway, leave an asterisk at the bottom of your post.

Comments will be closed in a couple weeks.

Non-fiction Narratives of Control

I am seeking examples of narratives of control – conspiracy-like narratives – in contemporary American culture. These can be flat-out conspiracy themes or themes of control by deceitful, hidden forces. I’m seeking non-fiction examples from television news, documentaries, and books. These examples should be drawn from approximately the last five years; definitely no older than 2001.

Some examples: far right theories about government, far left theories about the wealthy, climate denial, anti-vaccination

Fictional Narratives of Control

I am seeking examples of narratives of control – conspiracy-like narratives – in contemporary American culture. These can be flat-out conspiracy themes or themes of control by deceitful, hidden forces. I’m seeking fictional examples from video games, film and TV, in that order of interest. These examples should be drawn from approximately the last five years; definitely no older than 2001.

Some examples: House of Cards, Homeland, Scandal, Star Trek Into Darkness, Bourne movie series