# Top 10 Magical Numbers

##### Arun Thakur
9:00 am 14 Mar, 2013

Mathematics is one subject that can best explain harmonies of the micro and macro universe. Magic numbers are a lot like mirrors that either reflect a universal rule of the nature or present before us a partly solved mystery. Configuration of a unit as small as an atom – invisible to our eyes – is no less complex than the mind, which most of us fail to comprehend in our lifetime. Through evolution and annihilation, some numbers indicate a natural order or, should we say, a higher being; a universal consciousness ‘in-charge’ of all activities. Listed below are top 10 magical numbers.

## 10. Fibonacci Numbers:

Fibonacci is a series of numbers that reveals organic properties of a large number of species and their body organs. The numbers in the series are produced by adding the previous two, beginning with 1 and 2. The total number of petals in a flower is mostly a Fibonacci number. Even if there are multiple layers of petals, they’re generally Fibonacci numbers, in a sequence that anyone can easily recognize.

## 9. Base of natural logarithm 2.71828:

Represented by the letter ‘e’ in mathematics, exponential constant or base of natural logarithm is one constant that is used almost in all branches of mathematics, chemistry and physics. The number does not directly appear anywhere in nature. It is a part of scientific imagery that helped a great deal in unraveling various mysteries of the nature. Other areas where this number is used extensively are for the calculation of compound interest, differential and integral equations, Bernoulli trials, asymptotics, complex number calculations and computer science.

## 8. Five, Eight and Twenty Four:

According to Baez, a scientist working on the famous String Theory, the combination of 5, 8 and 24 are the strangest numbers in the universe. These numbers exist in the 8-dimensional number system. What’s magical about them? Well, they’re widely found in sphere stacking and the golden ratio. Many religions scriptures in the world also have these numbers (in a coded format, maybe).

## 7. Planck’s Constant:

Today, the light energy can be converted into electricity or heat depending upon the appliance you’re using. It’s the Planck’s constant that determines the amount of energy produced by a certain color of natural of artificial light. Without Planck’s constant, we wouldn’t have been able to measure the energy emitted by a light bulb or electricity generation capacity of a light source.

## 6. Infinity is real:

Contrary to what most people believe (including those who’ve mathematics honors), Infinity is actually a number and not a symbol that students use in calculus or trigonometry to prove or disprove mathematical statements or theorems. The beauty of the number ‘infinity’ is that it can have multiple sizes. Multiplication or division does not affect the value of this number. While it helps mathematicians and researchers to solve problems with great ease, it also indicates the sublime reality that the universe indeed is infinite, at least because there is no way we can ever explore all of it in a single lifetime.

## 5. Prime Number:

One of the greatest mathematical enigmas, a prime number is divisible by itself or 1. Research shows that prime numbers are like atoms in the world of arithmetic. Many scientists  have, in the past, compared prime numbers in the number theory to hydrogen and helium in the periodic table. Survival of many species of the planet and even their life is in the order of prime numbers. There is nothing like “highest prime number”; it is infinite.

## 4. 137, the Fine Structure Constant:

In physics, Fine Structure Constant is also known as Coupling Constant. The value and significance of this constant (137) was first revealed by Arnold Sommerfeld in the year 1916. The number 137 represents the strength of electro-magnetic interaction. On a fundamental level, the fine structure constant (subject to variation as interaction energies change) determines how the smallest of particles known to humans interact with each other.

## 3. The mystic 108:

Besides being the oldest in the world, the Eastern religions are rich in philosophy and scientific texts other than routine mythical characters and stories. The number 108 is the most important numbers in Vedantic Chanting. There are 108 feelings in Buddhism, 108 Gopis in Vrindavan and 108 names of various Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism. According to many researchers, the number 108 represents the ratio between the Sun-Earth distance and Sun’s diameter. It also represents the ratio between the Earth-Moon distance and earth’s diameter.

## 2. The Pi:

Pi is one of the most popular numbers in mathematics. It’s an irrational number that represents the ratio of circumference of a circle to its radius. Over the centuries, the value of pi was calculated with varied precision by Archimedes, Zu Chongzhi, Ludolph van Ceulen etc. The value of Pi is universally accepted as 22/7 or 3.1459. William Jones was the mathematician who gave this magical number a symbol which is used till this day. In nature, the pi plays a great role as far as periodical processes concerning clocks, solar revolutions, waves etc.

## 1. Golden Ratio or Phi:

Golden Ratio (1.618033) is popularly known as divine ratio. It has fascinated spiritualists, artists, scientists, mathematicians for hundreds of years. Veins in leaves, spirals in living things, stems in plants, human genome DNA, the divine ratio is found everywhere. Back in the 20th century, a large number of creative architects and artists used the proportion in their creations. Most people used the divine ratio in the form of a golden triangle.

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