In mathematics, 4 is a natural number following 3 and preceding 5. It is even, meaning it is divisible by 2 without a remainder.
The significance of 4
4 has numerous noteworthy properties and applications in various fields. Some of which include:
The valency of carbon is 4, which is crucial in the formation of organic compounds, including carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids. In addition, there are four fundamental forces of nature: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear.
In numerous religious traditions, 4 has significant symbolism. For instance, in Christianity, there are four Gospels in the New Testament. The number four also appears in several other places in the Bible, including the four living creatures surrounding God's throne.
There are several well-known literary works that have employed the number 4 in their stories. For example, in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, there are four hobbits that embark on a perilous journey to save Middle-earth.
The cultural significance of 4
The number 4 is also heavily embedded in various cultures around the world. For instance:
In Asian cultures
In China, 4 is considered an unlucky number due to its pronunciation being similar to the word for "death." In Japan, the number 4 is avoided because it is pronounced similarly to the word for "pain" or "suffering."
In Western culture
The number 4 is often associated with stability and order. It is, for instance, the number of legs on a table, which highlights its practical nature.
All in all, the number 4 is significant in various aspect of human culture, from mathematics to religion, literature, and beyond. Regardless of whether it is viewed positively or negatively, there is no question that 4 holds an influential role in shaping our perception of the world.