17 Feb '08 15:58

Assume any closed curve, of any shape.

Proof that there are at least four points in this curve that are the vertices of a square.

Proof that there are at least four points in this curve that are the vertices of a square.

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http://xkcd.com/386/17 Feb '08 21:171 edit

Because the original "Nobel" who started the prize was a little miffed at his wife running off with a mathematician... apparently.*Originally posted by smaia***It seems the title was cut off.**

This is an unresolved problem.

If you find a solution, you will receive a prize equivalent to the Nobel.

There is no Nobel prize for math.

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the sides of the square can cross the curve? it is only the vertices that need lie on the curve, so the square can theoretically have a larger internal area than the curve?- Joined
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17 Feb '08 22:17

Are you serious? I always wondered why there is no Nobel prize for math. It does not make much sense to have the prize for physics, chemistry, etc. ans not for math.*Originally posted by agryson***Because the original "Nobel" who started the prize was a little miffed at his wife running off with a mathematician... apparently.**

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the sides of the square can cross the curve? it is only the vertices that need lie on the curve, so the square can theoretically have a larger internal area than the curve?- Joined
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http://xkcd.com/386/17 Feb '08 23:42

Well, I know that his wife ran off with a mathematician, but there's still a lot of controversy over whether he was petty enough for this to be a reason. The generally accepted reason is that he saw no practical value in mathematics for improving mans lot in life, though this would tend to be contradictory in the face of nobel prizes for literature which arguably provide no practical benefit but do provide an important artistic and aesthetic outlet. Much of mathematics does the same as well as its constant and important role in the sciences and engineering. Is there one for engineering?*Originally posted by smaia***Are you serious? I always wondered why there is no Nobel prize for math. It does not make much sense to have the prize for physics, chemistry, etc. ans not for math.**

If it is true, it makes a good anecdote.- Joined
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podunk, PA18 Feb '08 02:31

If it is unresolved, how will decide if it is solved correctly? isn't there a Fields Medal in mathematics, which is like the Nobel?*Originally posted by smaia***It seems the title was cut off.**

This is an unresolved problem.

If you find a solution, you will receive a prize equivalent to the Nobel.

There is no Nobel prize for math.- Joined
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18 Feb '08 02:52

I would add that with the development of quantum mechanics, chemistry became an area of physics and yet these areas are treated as separate subjects as far as Nobel is concerned.*Originally posted by agryson***Well, I know that his wife ran off with a mathematician, but there's still a lot of controversy over whether he was petty enough for this to be a reason. The generally accepted reason is that he saw no practical value in mathematics for improving mans lot in life, though this would tend to be contradictory in the face of nobel prizes for literature which arg ...[text shortened]... ences and engineering. Is there one for engineering?**

If it is true, it makes a good anecdote.

Also, the development of physics have always relied in pre-existing math theories that had no practical application by the time they were developed. A classical example is the theory of general relativity which is a practical application of riemmanian geometry. It was developed before relativity by the brilliant German mathematician Bernard Riemman. He died very young and did not see his theory become the foundation of one of the most important developments in the history of science.

Einstein won the Nobel prize, but for his work on the photoelectric effect. But he would have deserved the prize for his much more important work on relativity. How unfair it would have been to award him the Nobel and exclude Riemman just because he was a mathematician.- Joined
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Out of my mind- Joined
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18 Feb '08 16:21

Too bad Nobel was never married.*Originally posted by agryson***Because the original "Nobel" who started the prize was a little miffed at his wife running off with a mathematician... apparently.**

Edit: Is it safe to assume that the sides of the square can cross the curve? it is only the vertices that need lie on the curve, so the square can theoretically have a larger internal area than the curve?- Joined
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18 Feb '08 17:45

Yes, there is, it is very prestigious (in the academia) but it is not the Nobel which is generally accepted as the most prestigious award someone can get. The issue is the non-inclusion of math in the Nobel. It just does not make sense....*Originally posted by joe shmo***If it is unresolved, how will decide if it is solved correctly? isn't there a Fields Medal in mathematics, which is like the Nobel?**- Joined
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http://xkcd.com/386/- Joined
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