Where does math come from? There is a question that some of the most obvious mathematical minds have discussed with.
Some believe we find them, other people that we invent; some think they are partially discovered and partially devised, while some admit that they do not know.
The jury has really shared it.
But there is something that each side has to consider before taking sides: Plato's ideas, one of the most important figures of Old Greece.
He said what the famous philosopher said to date is the basis of what many scientists think about the origins of maths.
Foundation but separate
In Ancient Greek, there was no doubt as everything seemed to show that mathematics was something that was discovered.
For Pythagoras and their followers, they were a window to the world of gods.
But there are more: although they are a fundamental part of the world in which we live, they are in some way very different from him.
Trying to make sense of this obvious paradox is a crucial point the dilemma about the origin of maths.
And that's what Plato did.
In another kingdom
The philosopher was fascinated by the geometric shapes that could be produced following the maths rules, which he thought he was from images.
To understand what he said, let's use an enclosed flat curve where each point is an equal distance from the center.
Better say, circumference.
You probably have to have to pull one, you've tried to make yourself look good and be sure to work for you, although it is not quite perfect.
So, you got access to the most accurate computer in the world, the circumference you would draw would not be perfect either.
An approach will be enough and any physical circumference, as well as the specified circle, will have barriers and shortcomings.
According to Plato, that's why unfortunately circumstances and circles do not exist in the real world; The perfect circle lives in a divine world of perfect forms, a type of air where you can find all the maths, but only if you really believe.
The philosopher was also convinced that everything in the cosmos could be represented by 5 solid objects called Platonic solids.
So the Earth was the solid rock cube. The fire was the very notable tetrahedron. The sky was the octahedron, while the etosaur, with 20 triangular sides, represented water.
The last platonic solid, the dodecahedron, contained the whole Universe.
There is something special about platonic solids. Here are the only objects where each side has the same shapeand there are only five.
No matter how difficult you are trying, you will never find another object with these unique mathematical qualities.
All of these forms, Plato believed, existed in a world of perfect forms beyond simple-reach deaths where we call it platonic world.
Although these ideas seem rather crazy, there are many people who believe in them, and those people appear to be unnecessary.
"Platonic solids, to me, are a A great example that mathematics is discovered rather than inventing"said Max Tegmark, a professor of Physics and Mathematics at the Massachusetts Technology Institute (MIT).
"When the ancient Greeks discovered that they existed, they could invent their names." The 12-faced man is known as the dodecahedron. the pure dedecons were already there I found out, "said Tegmark.
"I have a Platonic vision that there are triangles, numbers, circles around," says physician philosopher Eleanor Knox. they are part of this mathematical landscape I look. "
But not everyone believes in this Platonic world of mathematical wounds.
"I believe that Platonic world is in the human head"says arthropysist Hiranya Peiris," It's a product of imagination, "he added.
"I understand people who really believe in this realm of reality and, in particular, if they spend their days and nights thinking and investigating that country," says Brian Green, a professor of physics and math at Columbia University.
"That does not mean it's real", awards.
Plato would disagree.
He encouraged us to believe in that other world where all mathematics could be found, a not to be cheated and to think that the world is all around us there.
What we consider as a reality, it warns, is just shadows.
Two million years later …
More than 2,000 years ago, Plato took geometry forms as evidence of God's influence, ideas that were limited to the senses and the imagination.
Today, Geometry is at the forefront of science.
New technologies have enabled us to look at the world beyond sensory and, again, it seems that the natural world has written in a math language.
This is a virus model.
Immediately, you notice its geometric shape: it's one of the platonic solids.
Reidun Twarock, a professor of math at the University of York, has coincided with a computer simulation that sets the mathematician in the middle of the virus.
"What we're trying to understand is how this virus is formed and because we create a virtual one of being inside the virus, in the situation where it is found the usual genetic material, "he told BBC Reidun.
So they discovered that the virus takes advantage of the power of maths to build its outer wall in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
Based on this information, Reidun seeks to find a way to prevent spreading viruses such as hepatitis B and even the common cold.
That's what makes this research so exciting.
It can reveal the maths that allow the virus to form its envelope envelope for us to break it across. Without external wall, there is no virus; no virus, no infection.
Have it been discovered or invented?
Beyond the scope of human senses, the Universe seems to somehow know maths.
How often these patterns appear are incredible. They are in plants, they are in marine life, even in viruses.
Mathematics … are we invented or found? Military debate unresolved
And every time we add more things we can explore and exploit using the maths we have.
All of this puts pressure to the idea that there is a natural order that supports the world of scope and that we do not just discover mathematics.
But we may have been looking for patterns in the wrong places.
If everything is on our heads, then the brain could be a good place to look.