Written by Selina

Modified & Updated: 11 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Engineering conceptual using pencil and mathematics formula

Ah, math, the beauty of numbers and equations, and the epitome of complexity. We have to admit – mathematics is an undisputed cornerstone of science and innovation. It is a rich and exciting realm, filled with countless intriguing facts. These facts not only serve as fun trivia but also highlight the incredible versatility of math. Buckle up as we embark on a journey through 15 related facts about math that will undoubtedly pique your curiosity.

Table of Contents

The value of zero is not zero.

Zero, often taken for granted, is one of the most essential elements of mathematics. The concept of zero, as both a placeholder and a number in its own right, revolutionized mathematics. The invention of zero was independently arrived at in several ancient civilizations, including the Mayans and Indians.

We still don’t know the precise value of π (Pi).

Pi (3.14159), the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is an irrational number, meaning it never ends or repeats. Its precise value is still unknown despite modern computers having calculated it to over 31 trillion decimal places! In the Guinness World Records, Akira Haraguchi is the number one contender for memorizing the most number of digits in Pi.

The Golden Ratio is in the Great Pyramids of Giza.

The Golden Spiral / Sacred Geometry Spiral
Image from Adobe Stock

The Golden Ratio is the ratio between two numbers that is approximately equal to 1.618 and is often associated with aesthetic beauty in nature and art. This ratio, denoted by the Greek letter Phi (Φ), can be found in patterns of growth in biology, in famous works of art, and even in the dimensions of the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.

You can find the Fibonacci Sequence in the tree branches and pinecones.

The Fibonacci Sequence (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…) is a sequence where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones. Fascinatingly, this sequence frequently appears in nature, such as in the arrangement of flower petals, the way tree branches form or split, pinecones, and even galaxies!

Benjamin Franklin created his own Magic Square because he was bored.

In mathematics, a magic square is a grid of numbers, usually positive integers, where the sums of numbers in each row, column, and diagonal are the same. In 1750, Benjamin Franklin created his own 8×8 magic square because he was bored while serving as a clerk in the Pennsylvania Assembly. Though his diagonals were not a match, he successfully manage to ensure all his rows and columns added up to 260.

And here’s one thing to note: Magic Squares are not quite the same as Sudoku. A magic square is where the rows, columns, and main diagonals all add up to the same number. But in Sudoku, only the rows and columns add up to the same number.

Prime numbers hold many unsolved problems.

Prime numbers, numbers greater than one with no divisors other than 1 and themselves, are among the most fundamental and mysterious objects in mathematics. Despite their simplicity, prime numbers still hold many unsolved problems, including the famous Goldbach’s Conjecture and the Riemann Hypothesis.

The idea of exponentiation dates back to the 14th century.

The idea of exponentiation (power to a number) is very old. The application of this mathematical theory dates back to the 14th century. That said, the first use of the symbol a3 was in 1632 by French mathematician René Descartes. However, John Wallis was the first to demonstrate how to use exponentiation, particularly by his negative and fractional exponents.

Pythagoras may not be the founder of the right-angle triangle.

Pythagorean theorem sketched with white chalk on a chalk board
Image from Adobe Stock

Though we have been taught that Pythagoras claimed the founding facts of the right angle, the latest research are suggesting otherwise. Some believe that its followers, the Pythagoreans collaborated to deduce facts about the right-angle triangle.

You can find fractals in snowflakes.

Fractals are geometric shapes that are infinitely complex, meaning they reveal more detail the closer you look, regardless of how much they are magnified. You can find them in various natural phenomena like snowflakes, mountain ranges, and coastlines.

Infinity: The Unreachable Destination

In mathematics, infinity is a concept describing something without any limit. Mathematicians treat infinity as if it is a number, but it’s not a regular number that we can add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

Set theory is the language of math.

Set Theory forms the fundamental language of mathematics, wherein objects are grouped into sets based on shared properties. It helps mathematicians in every field communicate abstract concepts.

The Art of Mathematical Proofs

Mathematical proofs, and rigorous arguments establishing truth through deductive reasoning, are the heart of mathematics. Famous proofs, like Andrew Wiles’ proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, have solved problems centuries old.

The Power of e

The number e is an important mathematical constant that is the base of the natural logarithm. It’s an irrational number, like pi, and it’s integral to calculus, complex numbers, and probability theory.

Symmetry Group: The Beauty of Patterns

Skyscraper symmetry
Image from Adobe Stock

A symmetry group is a group of transformations that map a figure onto itself while preserving its structure. They play a key role in the study of geometrical and abstract structures in mathematics.

Euler’s Identity: The Beautiful Equation

Euler’s Identity is often hailed as the most beautiful equation in mathematics. It links five of the most important numbers in mathematics (0, 1, e, i, and π) into a single elegant equation: e^(iπ) + 1 = 0.

Final Word

In conclusion, mathematics, often seen as a dry and difficult subject, is brimming with interesting facts and phenomena. These 15 related facts in math offer just a glimpse into the remarkable world of numbers and figures that shape our universe. Math truly is everywhere, from the symmetry of nature’s designs to the orbits of planets.

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