A history of navigation long before the discovery of the magnetic compass

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Orion constellation

Has anyone ever wondered how pirates used to sail around the seas besides a big hat and a parrot on their arm?

How did they know where they are moving or their destination without the…


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“Mathematics is the surest way to immortality. If you make a big discovery in mathematics, you will be remembered.”

Hungarian-born Paul Erdős (1913–1996) was a legendary mathematician of the 20th century. He is famous for having published more research papers than anyone since Euler. Both of his parents used to teach mathematics.

At 16, his father made him familiar with two of his lifetime favorite subjects; set theory and infinite series. Erdős always remembered his parents with great affection and love. At 17, he started university in Budapest then he left for the US during the pre-war years. At 20…


A closer look at their concerns about the Starlink broadband constellation.

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket heads into the clouds carrying 60 Starlink satellites, on November 11, 2019. Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

The Starlink satellite constellation is an ambitious project initiated by SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk to provide high-speed internet anywhere around the globe.

In 2015, Musk announced the startup of the network of communication satellites with a statement that “there is a significant unmet demand for low-cost global broadband capabilities.”

They have launched nearly 600 satellites in low-Earth-orbit (LEO) so far and are planning to extend it to the interconnected network of about 12,000 small satellites. The network of satellites is connected by space lasers. The main concern they have is global connectivity through the world’s largest Low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation.

The…


The Golden Ratio has inspired thinkers of all disciplines like no other number in the history of mathematics

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Photo by Job Savelsberg on Unsplash

Penrose tiles

The Penrose tiles or tesselations form when you indefinitely place the shapes over and over again in different orientations to totally enfold a surface, but the pattern never repeats. It is called non-periodic tiling because it lacks translational symmetry.

Sir Roger Penrose an English mathematical physicist who is well known for his work in cosmology and the general theory of relativity discovered three different types of non-periodic tilings in the 1970s. He was not the leading one in discovering this special pattern of tiles, but certainly, he was the most popular one as the pattern is named after him.

For…


The theoretical limit of backward time traveling gives rise to many paradoxes

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Photo by Laureen Missaire on Unsplash

At a certain point in our lives, we all wish to go back to the time and change things or bad decisions, as well as, rush to the future to see what’s there. But unfortunately, it has not been able to happen yet.

The predestination paradox is the most mind-boggling among other paradoxes associated with the concept of time travel such as the grandfather paradox and bootstrap paradox. It is also known as the causal loop paradox.

To understand this paradox we have to be clear about the concept of time and causality.


Abel was done to death by poverty, Galois by stupidity

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The portrait of Évariste Galois as a teen


A theorem which is simple yet remained unsolved for a long time

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The four-colored map of the United Staes

Historical context

The origin of the four-color map theorem dates back to 1852. Its emergence is quite captivating. Once a person named Francis Guthrie was trying to color the Britain countries on the map, he then suspected that he is able to do that by using only four colors. Little did he knew that his thinking will be going to pose a genuine problem that will remain unanswered for such a long time.

He had a discussion about that problem with his brother Frederick who was a student of the famous mathematician Augustus De Morgan at University College London. …


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Perspective is the most critical aspect associated with every impossible shape.

Impossible shapes are the ones that form in an inconsistent way to create a spooky optical illusion. That deceives our brain on a very first impression by creating a false reality. A few of them are discussed in this article.

Penrose Triangle

The Penrose triangle or the impossible triangle (Penrose tribar) was first designed by a Swedish artist Oscar Reutersvärd in 1934. He was known as the “father of the impossible figures”. He created that picture at the age of 18 while drawing randomly in his Latin class.

The triangle gained more widespread attention in the 1950s when a psychiatrist Lionel Penrose


The general theory of relativity was pieced together by many renowned people

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Einstein with Marcel Grossmann (left) and Michele Besso (right)

The emergence of the General Theory of Relativity is a subject that has been written and gained extensive attention with the well-defined focus of Albert Einstein’s role in it. This article will enlighten the part played by Marcel Grossmann in generalizing gravity and a little bit about other people who served as building blocks in the completion of the theory.

Firstly I will review the biography of Marcel Grossmann (1878–1936) and his intellectual contributions to the field of geometry. Later I will discuss the collaboration which resulted in Einstein-Grossmann's theory in 1913. …


Making use of the byproduct of cosmic rays from distant galaxies

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The Egyptian pyramids

The elementary particles — Muons

Muons were first discovered by Carl D. Anderson and Seth Neddermeyer in 1936 at Caltech while studying the cosmic rays. Muons are produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere by cosmic rays from distant galaxies colliding with atomic nuclei of different molecules in the air.

They observed the particles which showed a slight distinct behavior from electrons and other elementary particles e.g they curved differently while passing through a magnetic field. Their properties were quite similar to electrons but they are slightly more massive. Their existence was confirmed one year later in the cloud chamber experiment by J. C. Street and…

Areeba Merriam

“Math is an essential tool for physics and physics is a rich source of inspiration in maths” |Researcher|MS Maths|Email: areeba@math.qau.edu.pk

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