It’s rare to hear polygons mentioned in a physics class, even in higher education. This may seem unexpected given the fundamental role they play in mathematics. However, over the last few years, polygons have come to the front line in many areas of theoretical physics, helping us understand the laws of nature with their astonishing beauty.
This is particularly true in the field of particle physics, where a new geometrical object has been found to be connected to particle dynamics: the amplituhedron. It represents a novelty not only in physics but also in mathematics, generalizing the concept of a convex polygon. In this blog post, I will first discuss its relation to particle physics, and then how to visualize its geometry using the Wolfram Language.
November 7, 2019 — Paritosh Mokhasi, Kernel Developer, Algorithms R&D
My student days learning fluid dynamics were all about studying complicated equations and various methods of simplifying and manipulating these equations to get some kind of a result. Unfortunately, this left very little to the imagination when it came to getting an intuitive feel for how a fluid would behave in different situations. When I took my first experimental fluid dynamics course, I got to see how one would use different visualization techniques to understand qualitatively the behavior of the flow. These visualizations gave me a way of creatively looking at a flow, and, as an added bonus, they looked stunning. All these experiments and visualizations were being carried out inside a wind tunnel.
November 5, 2019 — Anthony Zupnik, Kernel Developer, Compiler Development
Microsoft Excel is among the most popular tools in the world. For non-technical and advanced users aspiring to extend beyond Excel’s built-in feature set, we’re proud to announce the easiest and most productive tool for doing so: Wolfram CloudConnector for Excel, now available to anyone running Excel on a Windows system. You can access the advanced computational power of the Wolfram Language for your data directly from your spreadsheets.
October 4, 2019 — Brian Wood, Technical Communications & Outreach Manager
Robert Prince-Wright has been using Mathematica since its debut in 1988 to develop computational tools in education, business consulting and offshore engineering. We recently talked to Prince-Wright about his work developing simulation models for deepwater drilling equipment at safety and systems engineering company Berkeley & Imperial.
His latest work is cutting edge—but it’s only part of the story. Throughout his career, Prince-Wright has used Wolfram technologies for “modeling systems as varied as downhole wellbore trajectory, radionuclide dispersion and PID control of automation systems.” Read on to learn more about Prince-Wright’s accomplishments and discover why Wolfram technology is his go-to for developing unique computational solutions.
August 2, 2019 — Bob Sandheinrich, Development Manager, Document & Media Systems
Every summer, I play in a recreational Ultimate Frisbee league—just “Ultimate” to those who play. It’s a fun, relaxed, coed league where I tend to win more friends than games.
The league is organized by volunteers, and one year, my friend and teammate Nate was volunteered to coordinate it. A couple weeks before the start of the season, Nate came to me with some desperation in his voice over making the teams. The league allows each player to request to play with up to eight other players—disparagingly referred to as their “baggage.” And Nate discovered that with over 100 players in a league, each one requesting a different combination of teammates, creating teams that would please everyone seemed to become more complicated by the minute.
Luckily for him, the Wolfram Language has a suite of graph and network tools for things like social media. I recognized that this seemingly overwhelming problem was actually a fairly simple graph problem. I asked Nate for the data, spent an evening working in a notebook and sent him the teams that night.
July 2, 2019 — Jon McLoone, Director, Technical Communication & Strategy
This week, I won some money applying a mathematical strategy to a completely unpredictable gambling game. But before I explain how, I need to give some background on last-mover advantage.
Some time ago, I briefly considered doing some analysis of the dice game Yahtzee. But I was put off by the discovery that several papers (including this one) had already enumerated the entire game state graph to create a strategy for maximizing the expected value of the score (which is 254.59).
However, maximizing the expected value of the score only solves the solo Yahtzee game. In a competitive game, and in many other games, we are not actually trying to maximize our score—we are trying to win, and these are not always the same thing.
March 14, 2019 — Shenghui Yang, Developer, Wolfram|Alpha Localization Systems
I approached my friend Frederick Wu and suggested that we should make a physical Wolfram Spikey Coin (not to be confused with a Wolfram Blockchain Token!) for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Mathematica. Frederick is a long-term Mathematica user and coin collector, and together, we challenged ourselves to design our own commemorative coin for such a special event.
The iconic Spikey is a life-long companion of Mathematica, coined (no pun intended) in 1988 with the release of Version 1. Now, we’ve reached a time in which Wolfram technologies and different 3D printing processes happily marry together to make this project possible!
February 26, 2019 — Christopher Carlson, Senior User Interface Developer, User Interfaces
Every year at the Wolfram Technology Conference, attendees take part in the One-Liner Competition, a contest to see who can do the most astounding things with 128 characters of Wolfram Language code. Wolfram employees are not allowed to compete out of fairness to our conference visitors, but nevertheless every year I get submissions and requests to submit from my colleagues that I have to reject. To provide an outlet for their eagerness to show how cool the software is that they develop, this year we organized the first internal One-Liner Competition.
We awarded first-, second- and third-place prizes as well as six honorable mentions and one dishonorable mention. And the winners are…
February 14, 2019 — Toni Schindler, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content
Imagine you could import any website to obtain meaningful data for further processing, like creating a diagram, highlighting places on a map or integrating with other data sources. What if you could query data on the web knowing only one simple query language? That’s the vision of the semantic web. The semantic web is based on standards like the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and SPARQL (a query language for RDF). The upcoming release of Version 12 of the Wolfram Language introduces experimental support for interacting with the semantic web: you will be able to Import and Export a variety of RDF data formats as well as query remote SPARQL endpoints and in-memory data using either a query string or a symbolic representation of SPARQL.
January 24, 2019 — Jacob Wells, Technical Specialist, European Sales
Do you select a bottle of wine based more on how fancy the sleeve is than its price point? If so, then you’re like me, and you may be looking to minimize the risk of wishful guesses. This article may provide a little rational weight to your purchasing decisions.
Due to my research using the Wolfram Language, I can now mention the fact that if you are spending less than