A wide-ranging look at the number 3 in reality

The number 3 draws much of the focus in this study:

doug-kleinThe intriguing human preference for a ternary patterned reality,” Lionello Pogliani, Douglas J. Klein [pictured here], and Alexandra T. Balaban, Kragujevac Journal of Science, 27 (2005): 75-114. The authors, at Università della Calabria, Italy and Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA, explain:

“Number three is also rooted in many words, such as triangle, triumvirate, trierarch, triune, trefoil, trilobites, trilogies, trinity, triptych, tricolor (flags), triclinic (crystals), trilingual (persons or countries), ternary, thrice, trivium, tribulations, triumph, trivial, trifling, trial, tree. But let us start from the beginning. A number is an abstract entity used to describe quantity. The most familiar numbers are the natural numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, ….) used for counting…”

BONUS: A review of the book Numbers Zero, One, Two, and Three in Science and Humanities by Lionello Pogliani. The review includes this curious phrase:

“(for example, he again discusses the Bing Bang, and the fundamentality of the number one in many physical constants)”