a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|The math in this story seems very real, though the specifics of it are
inconsequential to the plot. A mathematical physicist in an isolated
city needs help finding a solution to a linearized version of
Maxwell's equations, and he finds an offer for such help in a
surprising ad in a newspaper. Going to the address listed in the
paper, he finds that he is at the local insane asylum. Although this
worries him, he is very pleased with the results: he shortly receives
a package containing an absolutely brilliant, handwritten solution to
the problem he posed. His theory that one of the residents at the
asylum happens to be a great mathematician is shattered when he
submits another question which is similarly answered, but in another
person's handwriting. Eventually, he finds the truth, that a Nazi war
criminal is working in the asylum on a method for taking ordinary
people and making them into brilliant mathematicians (for the rest of
their shortened lives) through electro-magnetic stimulation.
Originally published in Russian Science Fiction (edited by Robert Magidoff, 1969), this story was also reprinted in Mathenauts.
|More information about this work can be found at another page on this Website.|
|(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.)|
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)