ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mathematical saddle. Computer generated image of a mathematical saddle (Riemann surface). It is a way of representing a form of space where the conventional rules of geometry no longer apply. It could be used to study the gravitational field around a black hole. It can also be used to plot the outcome of 'game theory'. This is a theory which predicts the outcome of a game between players whose interests are diametrically opposed. Should both players chose perfect strategies the game is said to have a 'saddle point'. This is where the efforts of both players mutually cancel each other out.
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