Why does math map to physics?

# Why does math map to physics?

@CouchChiller

Insufficient answer. How does the simple act of counting evolve into a body of knowledge that can accurately predict the motion of an accelerating object?

The whole foundation of math is comprised of intuitions taken from nature, that were impressed upon the brain through millions of years of evolution. It would be incredibly weird if math didn't yield results that apply directly back to nature.

@GoogleCat

What is the alternative exactly? That physical objects behave in radically different ways despite having the same starting conditions?

@hairygrape

Why would that be weird? It's weird that it does map directly to nature. Intuitively or even philosophically, there is no clear correlation between the two.

math is the fundamental and physics maps on top of it.

As much as physicist might hate to admit it, their discipline is not the fundamental study of reality. There theoretically can be universes with completely different laws of physics but you would still describe those laws mathematically. Math (and epistemology) supersede physics

@Crazy_Nice

implying there can't be different universes where different math applies

You can't have your cake and eat it too

@Flameblow

Not quantity, relationships.

F=ma

This is not a statement of quantity, but it is a statement of relationship. The question though is why do these relationships have anything whatsoever to do with the real world.

@Crazy_Nice

t. mathtard who doesn't have a clue about the origin or basis of his own field of study

@Evilember

It's a statement of proportion and magnitude, you stupid ass, both of which are more fundamental than math, and form part of the basis of math.

@TalkBomber

mathematics is a language, although a highly formalized one; to the point that the ambiguity that is essential to other natural languages has been almost completely eradicated.

It's meant to write things that 2500 years ago took several lines of letters in one very condensed sentence. The fact that you can translate any mathematical text to plain english is proof of what I say.

So basically if we can understand it, we can express it with math; furthermore, math as a language liberates us from excess word "luggage" and allows us to reach higher knowledge that would be possible in natlangs.

@WebTool

It's a relationship between force, mass and acceleration. Also still doesn't answer my question. Math aside, why should anything map to physics, much less map to it nearly perfectly?

@VisualMaster

not my fault you didn't understand a thing.

I think it's clear as day.

Mathematics and physics are branches of logic, logic stems from consciousness. Consciousness experiences the physical, and uses its tool of logic to help make sense of it.

best projection hands down, and it's made with a simple equation regarding pi

mapping is literally math

@eGremlin

My point is you didn't answer the question or even try to address it. The fact that you can translate between math and English at the cost of clarity tells us exactly nothing about why math describes physics or why the notion of quantity leads to extrapolation of natural laws.

Einstein thought the elegant equations of the universe exist because God wrote it.

@BunnyJinx

on the contrary it says everything.

You use a language to describe nature. That language can be english, or math.

Therefore the answer to your question is: because math is a language; and is the language that was used to write physics with.

Also if you wonder why are there mathematical theorems that do not represent anything in physics, it's because in a language there can be well constructed sentences that don't have real world counterpart (fantasy books and such). On the other hand, a valid mathematical "sentence" that had no real world representation initially could find one. Just think of The Illiad: considered fantasy and legend for centuries until Troy was unearthed.

So what I'm saying is that math is not something that "pre-exists" and then is mapped to the real world. It's a highly specialized language precisely designed to describe nature and quantify it, then it has evolved and became richer, but essentially is the same thing in the context of your question.

@Supergrass

Therefore the answer to your question is: because math is a language; and is the language that was used to write physics with.

Except physics exists independently of language. The fact that you can map one onto another is a happy accident at best. Your entire argument is flawed.

@TalkBomber

SET THEORY IS THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING INCLUDING ABSTRACT OBJECTS AND PHYSICS IS A SUBSET OF MATH.

@Garbage Can Lid

PHYSICS IS A SUBSET OF MATH

Impossible because even with our best math, our results are essentially still just very, very good approximations. Just like you can't accurately measure a piece of wood because no matter the degree of your accuracy, you can always increase accuracy and never get to an exact answer. The uncomfortable truth is that exact answers don't exist.

implying the language we have now isn't a consequence of physics/chemistry

@GoogleCat

because nature is really nice. would be a retarded world if we couldn't describe it with something useful and it would have to make zero sense (literally, math is just logic) for us not to be able to map it with math

@StonedTime

why should anything map to physics, much less map to it nearly perfectly?

Let's try tackling this problem with a much simpler version of a world with physical phenomena than our own and work our way up from there.

Suppose there's a world that's mostly empty, except for a single rock that's floating around in the void. No suppose this rock isn't stable and a few seconds after this world begins it breaks apart into a bunch of smaller rocks.

Now which would be stranger?:

A) The smaller rocks behave similarly to each other because they all came from the same larger rock.

B) The smaller rocks inexplicably behave in radically different ways to each other despite having all come from the same larger rock.

If you answered B, then good, proceed to apply this logic to every other phenomena that emerged in our own universe and you'll get the same general idea, that physical things exhibit extreme similarity and predictability in behavior because everything in our universe to some degree or another shares in one unified origin.

So objects in the physical world are similar and predictable, but does this answer why mathematics work to make these predictions?

What's the first mathematical idea?

It's repetition. Instead of just seeing a bunch of trees in a direct way as sensory stimuli that you mindlessly react to, it's possible to begin noticing the *idea* of trees. As in, these different trees are all similar enough to be categorized as instances of the same abstract class of "tree." And by abstracting out the idea of "tree" from the particulars of specific trees, we can begin to detect repetition (possible now because even though each tree is not the same as all other trees, they're close enough to where we can behave as though they were all the same). And by detecting repetition, the first number is born. Instead of just trees, we now have "two" trees. And now we can take that number and abstract it out to say something not just about trees but about two of anything.

@Need_TLC

it's not. Physics is the tower of HUMAN knowledge to describe reality as we perceive it.

Reality would exist without us, but physics wouldn't.

Anyway if you didn't get it by now I think it's useless to keep trying to convince you... It takes a bit of insight to realize this I guess.

@JunkTop

This is the correct answer. We shouldn't forget that physics is not about what reality is but rather about what we perceive as reality. This perception requires interpretation, and the way we achieve this is inherently linked to the way we do math.

Why does math map to physics?

it does not you idiot. physics maps onto math because literally everything we can describe systematically maps onto math.

@RumChicken

to the point that the ambiguity that is essential to other natural languages has been almost completely eradicated.

because it's physicists who create math (e.g. Calculus)