I always had the eyes to appreciate the pulchritude of the elegant solutions that mathematics proposes, but unfortunately I never had enough wits and patience(and ofcourse courage) to explore the infinite landscape it offers. Sometimes I wish I had a sherpa who would guide me in negotiating these terrains while I appreciate the beautiful view at those heights. Although I never hoped to get such a guide, but serendipity is what one might call it when I discovered this book “The Music of Primes” by Marcus Du Sautoy at a book fair.
The book describes the quest of mankind for understanding the mysteries of primes, their penchant for finding patterns in them which still eludes them after centuries of hardwork. But the side effects of such a quest(which I am sure will succeed one day) have been tremendous which on one side account for the deeper understanding of the abstract concept of the nature itself while on the other side has geared the tremendous pace of technology.
I have known and appreciated the concepts of mathematics manifesting itself into the beauty of nature, the most striking being the fibonacci series, but I could never fathom that the distribution of primes would have a resemblance to the energy level of electrons within an atom. And both these patterns are truely random, a lot like tossing a coin or rolling a dice.
There is a lot more to this universe than we have observed or could observe before we kill each other. The whole universe is based on some beautiful set of equations, simple enough for soundness and complex enough to elude the understandings of the greatest of our kinds. The numbers and equations are not a figment of our imagination, they do not depend on our existence, but they do exist irrespective of whether we exist or not, and they will keep governing the phenomena of the universe. A prime number will always be indivisible in any number system that the various civilizations across the universe have developed in their own home planets. This is something we can call an absolute truth.
Maybe this is true even for our lives, since we too are an integral part of this universe. Maybe the events of our life are governed by some random distribution generated by a set of equations. Some distributions lead a person to greatness, while most of the others plunge him into the abyss of anonymity. I am a great believer that in life our choices do govern whether we reach to greatness or not, but maybe even our choices are governed by these same distributions. Ofcourse, we might never find out if this is indeed true, alteast not in our lifetimes.