The poetry course that I’m taking started with a discussion of sand and stars. More precisely, with the statement that there are ten times as many stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. (If you’re interested, here’s the maths that backs up the estimate.) I don’t think we mentioned, though, that there are more atoms in a single grain of sand than there are stars in the universe.
Either way, macrocosmos or microcosmos, a number that big is hard to comprehend, and the human brain tends to look for simplifications and ideas closer to home.
I’ve just been out in the garden and, unlikely as it seems, I suppose I’ll just have to assume there are more stars in the universe than there are blossoms on the plum tree.
After yesterday’s “race day“, it seems only fair to spend a few moments thinking about winners. Specifically about Nobel prize winners. And, more specifically, about mathematicians who have won Nobel prizes. (Note that there is no Nobel prize for mathematics.)