Galileo called mathematics the “Language with which God wrote the universe.” He described a picture-language, and now that language has a new dimension.
Though not the first pictorial language of mathematics, the new one, called quon, holds promise for being able to transmit not only complex concepts, but also vast amounts of detail in relatively simple images.
“It seems to be the tip of an iceberg. We invented our language to solve a problem in quantum information, but we have already found that this language led us to the discovery of new mathematical results in other areas of mathematics. We expect that it will also have interesting applications in physics.”
The new language relies on images to convey the same information that is found in traditional algebraic equations-and in some cases, even more.
“For centuries there has been a great deal of interaction between mathematics and physics because people were thinking about the same things, but from different points of view. When we put the two subjects together, we found many new insights, and this new language can take that into another dimension.”
In their most recent work, the researchers moved their language into a more literal realm, creating 3-D images that, when manipulated, can trigger mathematical insights.
Having found a fit with quantum information, the researchers are now exploring how their language might also be useful in a number of other subjects in mathematics and physics.