MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

...
Let Newton Be! (2011)
Craig Baxter
...

The three actors in this play portray Isaac Newton at three different stages of his life, as well as occasionally representing other people. Interestingly, the three Newton's interact with each other, which may be a reference to the three-body problem as well as reminding me of The Ah of Life. Even more interestingly, Baxter did not so much write the play as patch it together, since it is claimed that all of the dialogue was taken directly from texts written by Newton and his contemporaries.

I have not seen the show (which opened at the Menagerie Theatre in the UK and then toured North America in 2011), nor have I read the script. I have only read a few reviews. From these, it seems reasonable to conclude that there is only a bit of math in the play, which of course also focuses on physics, religion and alchemy. Yet, there does seem to be enough to justify including an entry for this show in this database. In particular, in addition to brief discussion of the derivation of elliptic orbits for planets from the famous equation F=ma, the question of whether the credit for the creation of calculus should go to Leibniz or Newton is addressed, though it apparently quickly turns into a theological debate. If you were lucky enough to see the show or read the script, please write to me with your comments so that I can post them here.

More information about this work can be found at www.timeshighereducation.co.uk.
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Let Newton Be!
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Leap by Lauren Gunderson
  2. Newton's Hooke by David Pinner
  3. Verrechnet by Carl Djerassi / Isabella Gregor
  4. Calculus (Newton's Whores) by Carl Djerassi
  5. Quicksilver: The Baroque Cycle Volume 1 by Neal Stephenson
  6. The Lady's Code by Samantha Saxon
  7. Turbulence by Giles Foden
  8. The Music of the Spheres by Elizabeth Redfern
  9. Newton's Gift by Paul J. Nahin
  10. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Ratings for Let Newton Be!:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
(unrated)

PLEASE HELP US OUT BY ENTERING YOUR OWN RATINGS FOR THIS WORK.

Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Newton,
TopicAnalysis/Calculus/Differential, Mathematical Physics,
MediumPlays,

Home All New Browse Search About

Your Help Needed: Some site visitors remember reading works of mathematical fiction that neither they nor I can identify. It is time to crowdsource this problem and ask for your help! You would help a neighbor find a missing pet...can't you also help a fellow site visitor find some missing works of mathematical fiction? Please take a look and let us know if you have seen these missing stories anywhere!.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)