Mathematics and beauty in architecture. On the shoulders of giants

Partenón, Atenas, Grecia. Fotografiado en 1978 | Fuente: wikiepedia.org
Partenón, Athenas, Greek. Photography. 1978 | Author: Steve Swayne | Source: wikiepedia.org

Mathematics and architecture have a more than evident relationship since the construction of the first buildings. Mathematics not only guarantees the safety of buildings, which resist weight and do not fall, but also beauty. We find the golden reason in the Parthenon, the dome of revolution in Hagia Sophia; the 17 possible tessellations in the Alhambra in Granada, the Fibonacci succession on the Vatican’s Bramante staircase; the Moebius tape in the National Library of Astana, in Kazakhstan, or the minimum surfaces on the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich, to give some examples.

For centuries, architects carried out their work with pencil and paper, but in recent times digital tools have appeared that not only facilitate calculations but also make their designs come true. With Eugenia Rosado and Francisco Padial, from the Department of Applied Mathematics of the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, we have talked about these CAD tools that made possible works such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim or the roof of the Munich Olympic Stadium by Frei Otto.

José Antonio López Guerrero has told us about a study on the mechanisms of regulation of the immune system, which would explain why it does not act against cancer cells and that could contribute to a more precise immunotherapy and with fewer side effects. Dr. Pedro Gargantilla has told us that in the 18th century an Italian professor published the first treatise in which professions and diseases were associated, in what would later be called occupational medicine.

Eva Rodríguez (SINC) has informed us that the spectacular volcanic landscape of the island of Santorini (Italy) is a new Martian analogue, and that a virgin female green dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) managed to lay fertile eggs from which live young hatched , although only one survived, in the first recorded case of parthenogenesis reproduction in this reptile species. In the International Year of the Periodic Table, Bernardo Herradón has told us about platinum, discovered by Antonio de Ulloa, and its characteristics as a noble metal.

Nuria Martínez Medina has traced the biography of the French chemist Joseph Macquer. His monumental Dictionary of Chemistry was the first attempt in the history of this science to systematically organize all the information available in his time. In our places with science, Esther García has taken us to the Dutch city of Leiden. In addition to its tourist attractions, centennial buildings and its famous 16th-century university, neighbors and tourists can find very particular drawings and graffiti throughout the city, with scientific formulas that explain concepts such as the relationship between matter and space-time or the refraction of the waves.

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