Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Human body and non-linear mathematics.

Didn't I promise more articles that justifies the title of this blog!

Recently I attended Prof B.M Hegde's oration, I was forced to attend this, but eventually glad that I was forced.

B.M Hegde was former vice-chancellor of Manipal University. The oration was an eye-opener to the challenges faced by modern medicine. This post is not about the oration, the medical challenges or the brilliant speaker that Prof B.M Hedge is.

It is about one particular theory (actually hypothesis) that the oration touched upon.

"...this talk will point out the fallacy in the very basis of modern medical science (the linear mathematical laws). Human body, in modern medicine, is treated as simple electro-biochemical machine like a motor car engine. Unfortunately, the human body is only a non-linear chaotic dynamic system continuously run by food and oxygen."

Prof B.M Hegde shared that David Eddy (Stanford professor of Cardiac surgery) resigned his job to study mathematics to give modern medicine a better mathematical base for non-linearity.

Prof also said that 30 years research on non-linear working of the heart will be presented soon and went on to say that if the heart were to be simple muscular pump pushing blood into the vast swimming pool of millions of miles of capillaries which are so narrow that even a single red blood cell cannot pass through without changing its shape, it would have stopped functioning almost when we were born! There is a lot more to it than what we have been thinking so far! The present concept of heart as muscular pump makes a mockery of all known physical laws of the universe.

I've been making related statement to my friends circle for a while: "All human scientific advancement so far has been made based on linear mathematical model, however all future advancement will be made by understanding of non-linear mathematical models"

When I mean all...I mean all - electrical, computing, civil, mechanical and medicine (you could add all streams of education). I added medicine after listening to prof's oration, it re-enforced by own understanding that indeed its all fields of study. All these field's goal has been to build a predictable system (linear system).

Look around, gadgets, white goods and most stuff used in every day life is based on linear mathematical model except love, happiness, sorrow, fun and sensex !(list is not complete)

Just in case you need to know what is linear and nonlinear system?

What is linear system (mathematics)?

- Linear
- Linear system

What is non-linear system?

- Nonlinear system

Ain't there any popular example of non-linear system. Yes!

Google is the first glimpse of true non-linear man-made technical advancement and of course Sensex. However the credit will still go to Google as Sensex is not build on non-linear system, in fact it completely relies on linear system. Number of share in one's DMAT account doesn't change randomly, only the value of shares change to reflect market value, but number of share is same unless one buys or sells shares, it is just the market dynamics which is unpredictable.

But the truth is we're surrounded more by non linear systems than linear - e.g Traffic pattern, Disease spread, Progression of Rumors, City's growth, audience clapping for a performance, Star hysteria, Climate, fashion trends....countless.

Its just that we don't see them yet as non-linear mathematical models.

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