Where mathematics and astrophysics meet

Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 16:14 in Mathematics & Economics

The mathematicians were trying to extend an illustrious result in their field, the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra. The astrophysicists were working on a fundamental problem in their field, the problem of gravitational lensing. That the two groups were in fact working on the same question is both expected and unexpected: The "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" is well known throughout the sciences, but every new instance produces welcome insights and sheer delight.

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