MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

Home All New Browse Search About

...
Applied Mathematical Theology (2006)
Gregory Benford
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)
...

Benford, a physicist and science fiction author, wrote this piece about a message hidden in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) for the journal Nature's "Futures" column. It cites (fictional) mathematical evidence that the CMB contains some sort of message, and name-drops many mathematical ideas (Lie groups, Fourier series, the Riemann zeta function, etc.) in attempts to figure out what it says. But, in the end, the point is to consider the implications of believing that such a message is there rather than figuring out what the message is.

(I like this story, but can't quite agree with its conclusions. I doubt the consequences would be as described, and would personally be skeptical that the supposed evidence even shows convincingly that a message exists. Perhaps it would be interesting to hear from someone who feels differently. If you liked this story and see something in it that I'm missing, please post your own comments here using the links below!)

Originally published as Nature 440, 126 (2 March 2006) and now available (for a price or to anyone with a subscription to the journal) at Nature.com.

More information about this work can be found at www.nature.com.
(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 Applied Mathematical Theology
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer
  2. Contact by Carl Sagan
  3. His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem
  4. The God Patent by Ransom Stephens
  5. Timescape by Gregory Benford
  6. Mozart on Morphine by Gregory Benford
  7. Artifact by Gregory Benford
  8. Our Feynman Who Art in Heaven... by Paul Di Filippo
  9. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
  10. Distances by Vandana Singh
Ratings for Applied Mathematical Theology:
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.
Mathematical Content:
2/5 (1 votes)
..
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)
..

Categories:
GenreScience Fiction,
MotifAcademia, Religion,
TopicMathematical Physics,
MediumShort Stories,

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)