Can we live without math?

What would our world look like without mathematics?


An example: What picture would we have of our solar system?


This picture from the youth work Mysterium Cosmographicum Johannes Kepler's from 1596 shows our solar system with the six planets known at the time: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These were thought to be attached to spherical shells, which rotate around the sun at well-defined intervals. Kepler tried to explain the distance relationships purely speculatively through the dimensions of the five Platonic solids. According to the divine plan, there were exactly six planets and exactly five Platonic solids that fit into the gaps.



Without math would not have Johannes Kepler 1609 in his Astronomia Nova can derive the laws of planetary motion named after him from the observations of the astronomer Tycho Brahe.

Without math if Isaac Newton had not in his 1687 Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica can derive the universal law of gravity from Kepler's laws.

Without math Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier could not have calculated the orbit data of Neptune from the observed orbital disturbances of Uranus with the help of Newton's law of gravity in 1846, so that the astronomer J. G. Galle found this planet almost exactly at the predicted location that same evening.

Without math Johann von Neumann could not have designed and built the first universal electronic computer in 1948. Without a computer However, space travel would not be possible, since the calculations for every course correction of a spacecraft would not be feasible "by hand" in the short time required.

Without algebraic coding theory the development of error-correcting codes would not have been possible. Only these allow the extremely weak signals of the deep space probes such as Voyager and Magellan to be transmitted safely to earth despite strong interference in interplanetary space, where these signals can only be converted into fascinating images by computers.


This picture shows the Great Dark Spot on Neptune, which was only created through the images of Voyager 2 has been discovered.



This picture shows the Great Dark Spot on Neptune, recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope, i.e. from a distance of the earth by the best telescope currently available. It only becomes recognizable through the computer processing of the image.



This is a radar image of the volcanoes of Venus by the spacecraft Magellan. Of course, this picture was also created with the help of computers.



The telescope image on the left from 1910 shows Comet Halley and the planet Venus.


The modern telescope image on the right shows Neptune with its moon Triton. The ring around the planet in this picture is an artifact of the telescope and has nothing to do with the real Neptune ring.



Our images of the solar system would probably still see this today without the math of computer technology out.


Really without any math our picture of the solar system would probably still look exactly like it is shown on this woodcut, where the earth is a disk and the planets and stars are still attached to crystal spheres.