# Unlocking the Physics of Our Universe: Unusual Numbers Found in Particle Collisions

##### IN BRIEF
• Values computed from particle physics experiments seem to correspond with periods, a specific set of unusual values found in a branch of mathematics.
• If physicists are able to understand this connection, they could use it to simplify their prediction process and gain insight into the messy world ofUnusual Numbers.

## FINDING PATTERNS

Mathematicians and physicists have noticed a strange coincidence occurring between their respective fields: the values computed from particle physics experiments seem to correspond with a specific set of values found in a branch of mathematics called algebraic geometry.

Particle physicists conduct some of their most advanced experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, and many of those experiments generate gigabytes of data. To make sense of that information, the physicists use Feynman diagrams, simple representations of the particles and outputs connected to their collisions.  Lines and squiggly lines in the diagrams represent the particles and their interactions from the collision. When details like mass, momentum, and direction are added to the diagram, the physicists can calculate the Feynman probability, the likelihood that a collision will occur according to their diagram.

While making these calculations, they noticed that the numbers emerging from their diagrams were the same as a class of numbers from pure math: periods. These values describe motives, which are basically the building blocks of polynomial functions. When you get two polynomials with the same period, you know that the motives will be the same. One example of a period is pi. Because that period appears in both the integral defining the function of a sphere and the one defining the function of a circle, a mathematician can know that the motives for a sphere and circle are the same.