The Great Math Mystery

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NOVA leads viewers on a mathematical mystery tour — a provocative exploration of math’s astonishing power across the centuries. We discover math’s signature in the swirl of a nautilus shell, the whirlpool of a galaxy and the spiral in the center of a sunflower. Math was essential to everything from the first wireless radio transmissions to the prediction and discovery of the Higgs boson and the successful landing of rovers on Mars. But where does math get its power? Astrophysicist and writer Mario Livio, along with a colorful cast of mathematicians, physicists and engineers, follows math from Pythagoras to Einstein and beyond, all leading to the ultimate riddle: Is math an invention or a discovery? Humankind’s clever trick or the language of the universe?

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