Each of Granada's monuments hides a mathematical message that goes unnoticed. Geometry and calculations make up every corner to talk about power, God, commerce or the life of the city and its past. Nothing is configured randomly. But discovering it is difficult. To facilitate it, Álvaro Martínez Sevilla, professor of the department of Algebra in the School of Computer and Telecommunications Engineering of the University of Granada, has developed a free application for mobile that allows to unravel the mysteries of the forms and numbers of the monumental city of Andalusia. This Wednesday has been presented by the Discover Foundation.
"The Palace of Carlos V has the measures of power. It is expressed through cartographic spheres, symbol of the Empire. The squares represent the solidity, the earthly, the balance. The circles, the divine perfection. And both figures emanate from the same geometry ad quadratum", Explains enthusiastic Martínez Sevilla. The Latin term refers to the method of construction based on the aforementioned geometric figures.
This monumental complex is born of a number, that of the radius of the circumference that circumscribes the octagon on which the chapel rises. From there, the harmony that is perceived is born without realizing the proportion reiterated in the work.
The Royal Hospital it hides another fundamental number, the 22/7 ratio with which Archimedes approached Pi. "It's not just in the oculi [ventana circular], but in the unique flared arches [estructuras entre pilares o columnas] which are three times and peak higher than they are wide ", explains the computer scientist, who sees in this characteristic a" personal seal ".
These are just some examples of how mathematics marks architecture, not only as a fundamental constructive element, to guarantee the functionality of the building, but also as a symbolic expression, harmonic resource and decorative discourse.
After four years organizing mathematical tours that have been reflected in a book superventas (Editorial University of Granada, EUG), Álvaro Martínez Sevilla has wanted to take a step further in his informative work and has created the application presented on Wednesday. "We have put a lot of effort to undress the technical language mathematics and make it available to anyone with basic education and knowledge," he explains.
The mobile program allows you to see the most relevant geometric figures superimposed on the images of the monuments. Photographs are accompanied by an explanation of their architectural importance. "Users are surprised to find mathematical patterns where before they only saw a construction," says the professor.
To configure the application, the computer program has been used Geogebra, an interactive geometric and algebraic processor. It was created by Markus Hohenwarter 18 years ago and is a software free designed for educational purposes.
In the display of the images, the Exploria Ciencia technology of the Discover Foundation has been used, which allows designing and constructing virtual exhibitions, with 360-degree panoramic photographs in which the "hot spots" stand out, explains the University professor. from Granada.
The story has emerged from the collaboration of professionals from different disciplines and the experience of Martínez Sevilla, who began his walks as a didactic offer to students of the Summer Science Campuses.
Also this Wednesday they have presented the first three-dimensional modeling of a section of a mocárabe ceiling (decorative architectural element of plaster formed by juxtaposed and hanging prisms, as if they were stalactites) of the Alhambra. The pieces have been made with a 3D printer and are linked using magnets to understand, as if it were a puzzle, the constructive dynamics. "So that they can touch", summarizes the professor of Algebra.
The next step, with which you are already working, is to integrate everything you have learned so far into a virtual reality system that allows you to immerse yourself completely in the magic of architecture through its shapes and numbers. "It's about incorporating technology into scientific knowledge," he concludes.
The project Mathematical Walks by Granada of the Discover entity is co-financed by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the Ministry of Knowledge, Research and University of the Junta de Andalucía.