MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

...
Infinities (2002)
John Barrow
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)
...

This play, written by Cambridge cosmologist John Barrow, has been produced and performed in Italy (Milan and Valencia). It is made up of five separate vignettes several of which touch on the deep mathematics of "infinity". In one, we see a theatrical production of an old standard: Hilbert's Hotel with countably many rooms. In another, we are brought to Borges' "Library of Babel". The fourth dramatizes the arguments between Cantor and Kronecker about the nature of infinity. The other two scenarios, about time travel and the possibilities of living forever, are decidedly less mathematical.

More information about this work can be found at physicsweb.org.
(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 Infinities
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Hilbert's Hotel by Ian Stewart
  2. The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
  3. Ultima lezione a Gottinga [Last lecture at Göttingen] by Davide Osenda
  4. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  5. Dude, can you count? by Christian Constanda
  6. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  7. The Loom of God: Mathematical Tapestries at the Edge of Time by Clifford Pickover
  8. The Universal Library [Die Universalbibliothek] by Kurd Lasswitz
  9. The Extraordinary Hotel or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet by Naum Ya. Vilenkin
  10. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal
Ratings for Infinities:
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, Humorous, Science Fiction, Didactic,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Time Travel,
TopicInfinity, Real Mathematics,
MediumPlays,

Home All New Browse Search About

May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)