a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|A woman with flowing white hair and flowing white robes sits next to a mathematician on a plane and very casually helps him to prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
|(quoted from On Another Plane)|
‘‘I'm not much for knowing what's famous and what is not. It just doesn't seem that proving such a fact should be so hard.''
‘‘Really,'' I said. ‘‘Not so hard? Have you ever tried to prove it?''
‘‘No, but it seems that Jensen polynomials of the Riemann zeta function should be relevant. If you prove they have only real roots, wouldn't that be enough?''
‘‘Well, yes that is true,'' I said. ‘‘But we've known that for 90 years. Where did you study mathematics? You must have a PhD.''
‘‘I have never studied mathematics. I just enjoy reading about it. It's so abstract. The life of the mind and all that.'' She smiled, a faraway look in her eye.
This short story appeared in the author's regular column "Mathematically Bent" in Volume 42 Issue 2 of The Mathematical Intelligencer. The stories in his column are always mathematical fiction, but I am in the habit of only listing a few that stand out (and the collected anthologies) here. To me, this one stood out as not just being a joke, not just some math puns strung together into a story, but something a bit more serious and thought-provoking.
|More information about this work can be found at link.springer.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.)|
Exciting News: The total number of works of mathematical fiction listed in this database recently reached a milestone. The 1,500th entry is The Man of Forty Crowns by Voltaire. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for writing the summary of that work (and so many others). I am also grateful to everyone who has contributed to this website. Heck, I'm grateful to everyone who visited the site. Thank you!
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)