Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Language: German

Subject area: mathematics and statistics

University website: www.goethe-university-frankfurt.de

degree: Dr. rer. nat.

Mathematics (from Greek μάθημα máthēma, "knowledge, study, learning") is the study of such topics as quantity, structure, space, and change. It has no generally accepted definition.

The final truth about a phenomenon resides in the mathematical description of it; so long as there is no imperfection in this, our knowledge of the phenomenon is complete. We go beyond the mathematical formula at our own risk; we may find a model or a picture which helps us understand it, but we have no right to expect this, and our failure to find such a model or picture need not indicate that either our reasoning or our knowledge is at fault. The making of models or pictures to explain mathematical formulas and the phenomena they describe is not a step towards, but a step away from reality; it is like making a graven image of a spirit.

Sir James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe (1930)

A marveilous newtrality have these things mathematicall and also a strange participation between things supernaturall, imortall, intellectuall, simple and indivisible, and things naturall, mortall, sensible, compounded and divisible.

John Dee, The mathematicall praeface to the Elements of geometrie of Euclid of Megara (1570) as editor of Euclid's Elements, translated by Henry Billingsley.

Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. "Immortality" may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean.

G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology (London 1941).. Quotations by Hardy. Gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk. Retrieved on 27 November 2013..

Researchers have used laboratory experiments to improve our understanding of how radioactive atoms move through clay, contributing to safer radioactive waste disposal.