a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
|In a virtual universe shaped like a 3-torus, free from disease and death, Jamil is easily depressed but enjoys playing a game of quantum soccer with his old friends, and one new friend. The new friend turns out to be one of the two mathematicians who created this universe, about whom little is known by the other inhabitants who nearly worship them.
Since a big deal is made about the fact that Jamil's hobby is the study of the representation theory of Lie groups, I was both surprised and disappointed that he and his hero did not discuss any mathematics. But then, that's not the focus of the story. It is about life...and death.
It is noted that Jamil lives in the (virtual) city of Noether, named after Emmy Noether, and that the planet is Laplace. As for the toroidal structure of their universe, it is stated that "The topology of this universe lets you see the back of your head, but never your reflection."
By the way, the idea of "quantum soccer", is that team members on a playing field must manipulate the harmonics of a quantum wave function in order to get most of the wave (a certain amount of its probability, if you want to think in terms of the Copenhagen interpretation of QM) into the opponents net. Egan even let's you play the game through a Java applet on his website!
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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.)|
(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)