How are scientists able to crack fundamental questions about nature and life? How does math make the complex cosmos understandable? In this episode, the physicist Nigel Goldenfeld and co-host Steven Strogatz explore the deep foundations of the scientific process.
The universe seems like it should be unfathomably complex. How then is science able to crack fundamental questions about nature and life? Scientists and philosophers alike have often commented on the “unreasonable” success of mathematics at describing the universe. That success has helped science probe some profound mysteries — but as the physicist Nigel Goldenfeld points out, it also helps that the “hard” physical sciences, where this progress is most evident, are in major ways simpler than the “soft” biological sciences.
In this episode, Goldenfeld speaks with co-host Steven Strogatz about the scientific importance of asking the right questions at the right time. They also discuss the mysterious effects of “emergence,” the phenomenon that allows new properties to arise in systems at different scales, imposing unexpected order on cosmic complexity.
Is the emergence referred to in this article as the need to discover something and that this discovery comes by chance from the cosmos unexpectedly?
Or how do bumble bees fly?