The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Coffman Theater

Manil Suri (University of Maryland Baltimore County)

Picture yourself at a starting point before anything exists - no matter, no cosmos, not even empty space. Your task is to create the universe, but all you have to work with is, quite literally, 'nothing.' How do you proceed? 

Traditionally, you might expect physics or religion to try and answer this question, but what if you turn to mathematics instead? The resulting thought experiment gives an insightful new way of looking at mathematics - one in which you build the numbers out of nothing, and then, through a playful progression of mathematical creation, are able to arguably design everything else in the universe!