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Mathematics and the art of string theory


The artist Louisa Bufardeci has long been fascinated by the rich resources of scientific theory. String theory is an area of Physics that aims to describe all the parts of the universe, and how they behave, in one master mathematical equation. It has led physicists to suggest that the smallest element of matter, from which everything in the universe is comprised, is like a vibrating string (which is, after all, how pi and other irrational numbers behave). However, these strings are thought to exist in spatial dimensions beyond the limits of what we can see. At this stage they can only be tested as a mathematical formula. This painting is one of Louisa’s interpretations of this intriguing mathematical dilemma:

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10 x 9 x 8 + (7 + 6) x 5 x 4 x (3 + 2) x 1 = 2020

NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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