Science & Medicine

380: Steven Strogatz

A high-school science teacher had him time the swing of a pendulum at various lengths. He found that graphing his measurements formed a parabola. “I got an uncanny chill. There’s something secret that I have just seen, that if you don’t know math, you can’t see.” A mathematician is born. Plus, life with Murray the dog. Music: Bobby Sanabria. Presented with the National Museum of Mathematics.

Person: Arthur Winfree
Place: a field near Ithaca, NY
Thing: a pendulum
Randy’s Place: the Franklin Inst.

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