Have you ever thought about what your world would be like without numbers? Would we be able to build our civilization without numbers? We encounter them everywhere, and we need them to survive. They are not only used to count, measure, and do calculations; numbers rule our lives. We are identified by Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, and telephone numbers. Science, economy, and business are all about numbers. As a society, we are organized with the help of numbers.
Some define mathematics as the science of patterns — and there are observable patterns in nature. With numbers can make sense of these designs. With pi, for instance, we can see the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, which is possible only if we can mathematically identify it. The numbers allow us to understand countless fascinating and useful patterns of nature that we would never be able to discover otherwise.
In everyday life, many occasions contribute to the mental work of knowledge and meaning associated with a number. Although numbers are always a part of our lives, there are still situations that have little to do with mathematics. The numbers that help us understand mathematics are sometimes used in contexts with nothing to do with mathematics. When you think of the number 7, for instance, you can ask why there are so many things related to it: Why are there seven days a week? Why is James Bond encoded with 007? Why are there seven dwarfs in Snow White's fairy tale? Why are there seven sleepers in the Biblical story? Why is the number of circumambulations seven in the Ka’ba? Why does the rainbow have seven colors? Why are the world's wonders called the Seven Wonders of the World? Why is the number of notes seven in music? Why are there seven stars in each of the Big-Little Bear constellations? Why are there seven verses in Surah al-Fatiha? Why is the number seven so unique?
Interestingly, the number 7 shows up in a survey in which researchers asked 30 thousand participants the same question: “What is your lucky number?” Almost 10% of the participants answered it was “7,” the most preferred number in the survey. So the question comes up to mind: why did most people choose the number 7? Does it have anything related to the “why questions” mentioned above? Or is the juxtaposition of three sevens in jackpot machines, called a lucky 7, influential in…