a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
Douglas Preston's novel, “Blasphemy”, contains a few mathematical references that come up when scientists encounter “God” at the (hypothetical) world's largest particle collider, SSC II. Chaitin's Omega number appears along with “e”, as does Knuth's up-arrow notation (in specifying an ultra-large number dubbed “God's First Number”). The universe is described by “God” as an irreducible computation whose output would require a complete computation lasting God's-First-Number years. There are a couple of nice paragraphs, where “God” says: “You give me a hand with 5 fingers, not the integer 5. Your number system has no independent existence in the real world. It is nothing more than a sophisticated metaphor” and “[you are] like a monkey who has figured out how to count to three. You find four pebbles and think you have discovered infinity”.
The logics and axiom of mathematics are incredibly important to this story.
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|(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.)|
Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books
let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)