Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper examines the nature and function of mathematical models, using illustrations from cosmology, space geometry and atomic physics. Mathematical models enable us to make precise calculations and predictions; they serve as analogies and conceptual frameworks that lead to new discoveries; and they bridge the gap between appearance and reality. Their success implies that the universe had a mathematical structure. However, one must be careful not to confuse models of reality with reality itself. A variety of models can represent the same data; any model can be given different physical interpretations. The choice of a model and its interpretation depends largely on one’s worldview.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.