Is the universe ruled more by chaos or order? Put another way: does the universe contain more pattern, or more patternlessness? Mathematicians would frame this question even more precisely: How many numbers are totally patternless? This Numberphile video gives you the mind-bending answer in friendly, easy-to-follow terms. Algebraic numbers– those whose pattern we can describe with algebra– are comforting, tame and sensible, but they are far outnumbered by transcendental numbers, whose patterns defy algebra. Nerd out!
This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.