matthen

Things of interest in Maths & Science

Photo

If a mathematician wants to cross a road, they will think carefully about their optimal path. The total distance of the path should be minimised, but they prefer walking on the sidewalk to the road. If there is no extra discomfort from being on the road, the best path is a straight line, but as it increases it is better to cross the road more directly.  The resulting path is exactly the same as a ray of light refracting through a block of glass [with relative refractive index equal to the ratio of these ‘discomfort levels’]. Fermat’s principle says that light will want to spend less time in the glass (on the road), as it actually travels more slowly in the glass. [video] [code] [more]

If a mathematician wants to cross a road, they will think carefully about their optimal path. The total distance of the path should be minimised, but they prefer walking on the sidewalk to the road. If there is no extra discomfort from being on the road, the best path is a straight line, but as it increases it is better to cross the road more directly.  The resulting path is exactly the same as a ray of light refracting through a block of glass [with relative refractive index equal to the ratio of these ‘discomfort levels’]. Fermat’s principle says that light will want to spend less time in the glass (on the road), as it actually travels more slowly in the glass. [video] [code] [more]

  1. an-obra-in-progress reblogged this from the-consulting-engineer
  2. the-consulting-engineer reblogged this from talesofscienceandlove
  3. the-mender reblogged this from matthen
  4. how-about-dem-waffle-fries reblogged this from matthen
  5. capt-stevenrogers reblogged this from matthen and added:
    If a mathematician wants to cross a road, they will think carefully about their optimal path. The total distance of the...
  6. exposingmythoughts reblogged this from matthen
  7. fokinel reblogged this from matthen
  8. incurablyhealthy reblogged this from matthen
  9. amor-of-lightiphex reblogged this from matthen
  10. why-you-gatta-be-like-that reblogged this from kaboozleskaboodle
  11. isildili reblogged this from matthen
  12. invictascientia reblogged this from matthen
  13. kittycatalyst reblogged this from insanely-innovative
  14. crucibleoflight reblogged this from insanely-innovative
  15. insanely-innovative reblogged this from paleskinandfragilebone
  16. paleskinandfragilebone reblogged this from foxy-knitter
  17. missdichotomy reblogged this from scinerds
  18. jizzusswallowz reblogged this from matthen
  19. invisibleminions reblogged this from hottransmess
  20. dietpepsl reblogged this from hottransmess
  21. dopafiend reblogged this from fannypacksforever
  22. ariesdeath reblogged this from fannypacksforever
  23. fannypacksforever reblogged this from hottransmess
  24. hottransmess reblogged this from gifaf
  25. 4th-wave reblogged this from gifaf
  26. gifaf reblogged this from matthen
blog comments powered by Disqus
Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

Topics

Share

I will pay you handsomely if you share my blog with your friends.

Tweets

Youtube

Recent Comments

Get Updates

Subscribe by email, to get the latest updates in your inbox automatically. Or use RSS if you have a news reader.