This story is not directly related to light. What I will discuss later is actually understandings and views.
A story about seeing things
When we see things, are the things we see only the thing itself or something else? We always add our own understandings on the things we see. As the saying goes, there are a thousand hamlets to a thousand eyes.
I don’t remember clearly when I first get to know about the Euler’s formula e^(ipi) + 1 = 0, but it should be in a book. What I felt at first may be the wonders of why this formula is true and astonishments toward mathematicians’ minds. The book also said that this formula is the most beautiful formula in the world. It combined the five most important const numbers in math. Strangely, I had no feeling of such beauty then. Since then, this formula became the symbol of advanced math and difficult to reach. A few years before, when I started to learn calculous, I accidentally reach the proof of Euler’s formula. I was amazed and I even memorized the proof at once. Memories of such subtle proof should never fade. By expanding e^x, sinx and cosx into polynomials and drag imaginary i into them, the sum of sin(ix) and cos(ix) fit perfectly with e^ix. Relation were built between seemingly unrelated things. From then on, I felt that I understand the beauty of this formula, not through the formula itself, but its proof. Later, I learnt more in math. I learnt about constant e. I learnt about trigonometry. I learnt derivatives and why mathematicians accept Euler’s formula (which is an expansion on the original definition). More things started to gather and forming a web of statements. If I am required to give a lecture on Euler’s formula, I can cover almost all the math knowledge taught in high school and even beyond. As my understanding of math got deeper, I realized that the beauty of Euler’s formula and all other mathematical conclusions didn’t lie in specifically proof or properties. They are beautiful because they are true and consist with the whole system. When we see things, we see the thing and also our opinion and understanding toward this thing. In my eyes, e^(ipi) + 1 = 0 is a meaningful formula which combines various branches of math, but for others, it may be similar to random codes.
If we call “showing people another way of seeing the world” as (a part of) art. All those big books and long paper published in science or philosophy field are art. The grammar of programming languages is art. Just like those paintings which depicted another world for the audiences. However, not all such “art” can be understood by common people and that is what I want to do in this project.
However, Duchamp’s urinal is still a urinal for me……