In Defence of Mathematical Beauty
"Why are numbers beautiful? It's like asking why is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is." - Paul Erdős
At this point a lot of people with a near-phobia of maths are probably going to look at their screen like it's about to eat them. How can you find something so scarily abstract so gorgeous? How can you love it so much you're looking at studying it for another four years at university - for fun?! Equally, a lot of people who understand maths are probably slightly confused; maths is a tool. It's functional, not beautiful. Where's the beauty in numbers scribbled on a page or in calculations you make when trying to build flats or predict the growth of an economy?
All of a sudden, you hit upon something that seems to link two things together. Then on closer reflection it links another three things, then another four, then another five...Now, where once you had many disparate things, you can see that they're really part of one grand overarching scheme and suddenly you understand so much else. Feels great, doesn't it?
Euler's identity, which so simply and elegantly links five fundamental constants.
This is why maths is beautiful.