Researchers Build Upon Other’s Experiences

Having ready access to the past issues of Mathematical Research Letters allows scientists and researchers across the world to pore over the various discoveries of small and large consequence pertinent to their fields and specific projects. Enabling a more fluid research experience saves innumerable hours and repetition of experimentation that has already been done and documented. Additionally, new angles of experience are presented within the journal that allow scientific professionals to guide their teams and save many resources that could have been wasted on less- worthwhile endeavours that other researchers have shared their own experiences on.

It is this exact “building block” method that resulted in the various offshoots of the initial atomic theories that were presented by Albert Einstein. When Einstein initially presented his Theory of Special Relativity in 1905, it began a new age of imagining what power could lie within the smallest of all things: the atom. But, Einstein was admittedly skeptical about the possibility of humans being able to split an atom. It was the contribution of other mathematicians and theoretical physicists who utilized Einstein’s base theory and extrapolated the design to a more functional level.

Despite the obvious negative consequences of the chosen utilization of the power of the atom during Einstein’s time surrounding WWII, his foundation went on to provide more positive repercussions throughout the world as even more scientists came together to collaborate on the utilization of atomic structure and the inherent power within to provide power for a world that previously relied exclusively on coal, oil, or water power for electricity.

With the ability to split the atom, the world finally found a way to meet its growing population’s vast needs for energy without contributing to the already staggering problem of pollution within air and water, and subsequent environmental damage. Yet the building block principle continues, as each generation of scientists work together and correlate findings in order to perfect what others have made from Einstein’s original discoveries.

Because nuclear reactors are incredibly efficient, to the general public it stands to reason that they should become the main power source for many nations. Until 1986, this seemed to be a fairly reasonable plan, but then the stark reality became known to the world with the disaster at Chernobyl, exposing the immeasurable danger of nuclear waste. It is under the basic tenant of physics that energy cannot be created or destroyed, and ineffective utilization of atomic energy allowed a great deal of energy to be left over in a very unsafe form.

Though it seems that in the aforementioned cases only horrible things can result from delving into principles of physics that still have so much yet to be understood about them, consideration must be given to the improvements scientists have added to each imperfect step, allowing humanity to truly use these greater powers for their benefit. Just as nuclear energy plants were a great deal better use of the new knowledge of sub-atomic energy, scientists today are working toward a greater use of the basic tenants of the theory, hoping to try the exact reverse of what was tried before. Using the same process that our own sun uses to fuse atoms together to create its abundant energy, modern scientists hope to learn how to fuse atoms together to create energy to meet the demands of the expanding world population without the harmful effects of nuclear waste, and also without wasting so much precious energy.

Of course, it will take the combined efforts of scientists from fields all over the world to bring this idea to fruition, from the understanding of the workings of the sub-atomic particles themselves to the design and manufacturing of the necessary production technology and distribution systems to harness and direct the energy out to the world. Working together also has the benefit of preventing any one person or entity from controlling the knowledge and resources of energy (which has been a major pawn throughout history, from the control of waterways to national power grids). Sharing ideas also helps scientists design theories based on the local needs they are intimately familiar with, that other researchers would not be able to aim their efforts towards. An example of this would be a mathematical theorist from a third world country, who seeks to solve the important issue of providing cost-effective energy sources to a nation that does not have an established system of energy distribution. A researcher in a first world nation would have no priorities for designing such a system, and would not utilize current mathematical strategies for this end, but may provide some new research on nuclear fission for his own purposes. The third world mathematician can take this information and collaborate with individuals across the globe with the resources necessary to experiment and begin to test the application of this power source in his own nation where there are fewer restrictive laws on the books, due to the incredible demand for any and all sources of energy.