The Saloon

Needs more cowboy.

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Finally, am going to be spending the next few days sans internet on the Oxford Canal. I will return triumphant and sunburned on Saturday. Adieu!

39 notes

littlewiggy:

Does anyone else get frustrated that you can’t be really excellent at a lot of things? Like, I want to be good at so many things, but they all require dedication and practice and commitment and there are only so many hours in a day. 

Truth. I am interested in so many things that I have just resigned myself to a lifetime of being mediocre at everything.

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The brachistochrone
This animation is about one of the most significant problems in the history of mathematics: the brachistochrone challenge.
If a ball is to roll down a ramp which connects two points, what must be the shape of the ramp’s curve be, such that the descent time is a minimum?
Intuition says that it should be a straight line. That would minimize the distance, but the minimum time happens when the ramp curve is the one shown: a cycloid.
Johann Bernoulli posed the problem to the mathematicians of Europe in 1696, and ultimately, several found the solution. However, a new branch of mathematics, calculus of variations, had to be invented to deal with such problems. Today, calculus of variations is vital in quantum mechanics and other fields.

The brachistochrone

This animation is about one of the most significant problems in the history of mathematics: the brachistochrone challenge.

If a ball is to roll down a ramp which connects two points, what must be the shape of the ramp’s curve be, such that the descent time is a minimum?

Intuition says that it should be a straight line. That would minimize the distance, but the minimum time happens when the ramp curve is the one shown: a cycloid.

Johann Bernoulli posed the problem to the mathematicians of Europe in 1696, and ultimately, several found the solution. However, a new branch of mathematics, calculus of variations, had to be invented to deal with such problems. Today, calculus of variations is vital in quantum mechanics and other fields.

(Source: saulofortz, via curiosamathematica)

Filed under took calc of var in second year with the incomparable dr david acheson he was on tv once and won't let anyone forget it annie is a mathematician