MAM 05

April 2005 Mathematics and the Cosmos

The American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics announce that the theme for Mathematics Awareness Month 2005 is Mathematics and the Cosmos.
How do astronomers find planets outside our solar system?How can cosmologists understand the behavior of galaxies, quasars and black holes?Will the planets in our solar system follow their current orbits for the foreseeable future?How do missions to Mars and Saturn, for example, arrive at their destinations so precisely, and once there, how is information relayed back to Earth?
Mathematics is fundamental to answering these questions. 
In fact, mathematics is at the core of our attempts to understand the cosmos at every level: Riemannian geometry and topology furnish models of the universe, numerical simulations help us to understand large-scale dynamics, celestial mechanics provides a key to comprehending the solar system, and a wide variety of mathematical tools are needed for actual exploration of the space around us.

MAM 05 Essays
The Shape of the Universe
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