MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Infinities (2002)
John Barrow
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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. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
  4. The Loom of God: Mathematical Tapestries at the Edge of Time by Clifford Pickover
  5. Dude, can you count? by Christian Constanda
  6. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  7. The Extraordinary Hotel or the Thousand and First Journey of Ion the Quiet by Stanislaw Lem
  8. The Universal Library [Die Universalbibliothek] by Kurd Lasswitz
  9. A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri / Hartosh Singh Bal
  10. Shakespeare Predicted it All by Dietmar Dath
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Categories:
GenreHistorical Fiction, Humorous, Science Fiction, Didactic,
MotifReal Mathematicians, Time Travel,
TopicInfinity, Real Mathematics,
MediumPlays,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)