Beauty and Truth in Mathematics and Science

Lecture I - Beauty and Truth in Mathematics and Science

Robert May, Baron May of Oxford; Professor, Zoology, Oxford University and Imperial College
October 2, 2012

2012 Stanislaw Ulam Memorial Lectures

May explores the extent to which beauty has guided, and still guides, humanity's quest to understand how the world works, with a brief look at the interactions among beliefs, values, beauty, truth, and our expectations for tomorrow's world.

Dirac Lecture 2011 - Beauty and truth:their intersection in mathematics and science

Please watch: UNSWTV: Entertaining your curiosity


Lord Robert M. May Zoology Department, Oxford University, supported by the Royal Society of NSW & Australian Institute of Physics.

In the mists of prehistory, it seems clear that our ancestors sought to make sense of their world through myth and magic, memorably associated with evocative cave paintings, stone circles, and the like. The Greeks attempt to understand the motions of heavenly bodies were constrained by essentially aesthetic ideas about the perfection of circles. Did the advent of the experimental method overturn this conjunction of truth with beauty? Dirac's equation speaks eloquently and amazingly to a contrary view. My talk will cover this general ground in an opinionated way.

Lecture I - Beauty and Truth in Mathematics and Science - YouTube

School of Theoretical Physics Statutory Public Lecture “Beauty and Truth in Mathematics and Physics”

Prof. Arthur Jaffe (Landon T. Clay Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Science at Harvard University) recently gave the Statutory Public Lecture of the School of Theoretical Physics, DIAS. The lecture was held on Wednesday 18th May in the Schrodinger Lecture Theatre at Trinity College Dublin. Professor Jaffe is also Chair of the Governing Board of the School of Theoretical Physics, DIAS.

Beauty, commonly accepted in the arts, is also central both in mathematics and in physics. In both disciplines one also strives to discover truth. But beauty and truth can have different meanings for a physicist and for a mathematician! We discuss how one might reconcile these contrasting views.


Arthur M. Jaffe is the Landon T. Clay Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Science at Harvard University. His major research focuses on understanding quantum physics and the mathematics that it inspires. For his research in showing the mathematical compatibility of quantum theory with special relativity (by giving examples of non-linear fields in two and three dimensions), he received the Dannie Heineman Prize in Mathematical Physics, and the Physical Sciences Prize of the New York Academy of Science, jointly with James Glimm. In 1983 he authored the highly quoted essay “Ordering the Universe” for the US National Research Council, written to give intellectual justification for funding research in mathematics. In 1993 he wrote the essay “Theoretical Mathematics” with Frank Quinn, describing recent interactions between mathematics and theoretical physics. One year after its publication, the Bulletin of the AMS devoted an entire issue to discussion of that article.

Jaffe served as president of International Association of Mathematical Physics for two consecutive terms, and of the American Mathematical Society during 1997/1998. He conceived and guided the conception of the Clay Mathematics Institute, including serving as its first President 1998-2002, when he was responsible for the “Millennium Prize Problems in Mathematics.” Since 2005 he has chaired the Board of the DIAS School of Theoretical Physics. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and an Honorary Member of the RIA.

Lecture I Beauty and Truth in Mathematics and Science YouTube - The Best Documentary Ever

Robert , Baron of Oxford; Professor, Zoology, Oxford University and Imperial College 2, 2017 2017 Stanislaw Ulam Memorial Lectures .

Please watch: UNSWTV: Entertaining your curiosity -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Lord Robert M. Zoology .

Prof. Arthur Jaffe (Landon T. Clay Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Science at Harvard University) recently gave the Statutory Public Lecture of the .

Sir Michael Atiyah Institute for Advanced Study 8, 2017 For more videos, visit .

Beauty and Truth in Mathematics; a Tribute to Albert Einstein and Hermann Weyl - Sir Michael Atiyah

Sir Michael Atiyah
Institute for Advanced Study
November 8, 2010

For more videos, visit

Beauty and Truth in Mathematics

Relationship between beauty and truth in mathematics and science

Murray Gell-Mann: Beauty and truth in physics

Armed with a sense of humor and laypeople's terms, Nobel winner Murray Gell-Mann drops some knowledge on TEDsters about particle physics, asking questions like, Are elegant equations more likely to be right than inelegant ones?

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on, at

Beauty in Mathematics | Enrico Bombieri

Enrico Bombieri, Professor Emeritus, School of Mathematics, Institute for Advanced Study

December 11, 2012

Often mathematicians refer to a beautiful result or a beautiful proof. In this special lecture, Enrico Bombieri, Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematics, draws on examples from art, nature, and number theory to address the question, What is beauty in mathematics?

Mathematics of Beauty - The Golden Ratio

What makes someone more attractive than another? Is there a specific formula for attractiveness? The answers may lie in the golden ratio (phi, 1.618). This is a great video interviewing renowned plastic surgeon Dr Stephen Marquartdt who explains the golden ratio

Can Math Be Beautiful?

What is it about Euclid's infinite primes that rocks Simon Singh's world? What makes math different from the rest of the sciences? Listen as he and mathematician Marcus du Sautoy explain why, to them, math is a language of beauty, creativity, and immortality—for its unshakable proofs allow you to truly stand solidly on the shoulders of giants.

Watch the Full Program Here:
Original Program Date: June 3, 2011

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Mathematician Shares 'Secret Universe' of Patterns, Beauty, Interconnectedness

Cornell professors are often sought after by the media for their expertise and passion. Steven Strogatz communicates the beauty of math not only to students but also to the public via books, TED Talks and publications like the New York Times. Watch the video...

Michael Atiyah Beauty in Mathematics

Michael Atiyah, one of the worlds foremost mathematicians, talks about beauty in mathematics, which he defines as simplicity, elegance and truth per word, and explains why it is such an important criterion. Peoples Archive is dedicated to collecting for posterity the life stories of the great thinkers, creators and achievers of our time. The people whose stories we present are leaders of their field, whose work has influenced and changed our world. Look out for more of our stories on Google Video or visit our site to explore the wealth of our content through our Science, Film, Masters, Literature and Medicine sections with new speakers added regularly.

Science, Mathematics, and Beauty - Andy McIntosh

Andy McIntosh holds an emeritus chair in Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds in England, and has lectured and researched in these fields for over 30 years.

Beauty of maths


Thomas Garrity, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, presents Truth=Math=Beauty. Delivered November 1, 2011, as part of the Williams Thinking lecture series.

Is a mathematical proof beautiful?

Is doing research in mathematics a creative process? When mathematicians talk of their subject as beautiful, what do they mean? What are their motivations? Their dreams? Their disappointments?

Produced by Chrystal Cherniwchan, Azita Ghassemi and Prof. Jon Keating, this film is part of the Mathematical Ethnographies Project (2009). The focus is not on mathematics, but on the people who create and teach mathematics - on mathematicians.

Beauty of Mathematics

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music. — Betrand Russell

By Yann Pineill & Nicolas Lefaucheux

The Art and Beauty of Pure Mathematics - BoB 2016

Maths is all around us, ever present in art and nature, determining what we find aesthetically appealing.

Dr Lynne Walling sets out to explain these influences through evidence from classic and new research.

The Beauty Of Mathematics


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