a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Hapgood (1988)
Tom Stoppard
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

A brief discussion of Euler's solution to the Königsburg Bridge Problem appears in Stoppard's play about espionage and quantum physics.

When a British physicist double-agent is accused of giving the Soviets secret information, he attempts to explain the situation to his superiors in an especially unhelpful way: through analogies to quantum physics (wave-particle duality, tunneling, double slit experiments, uncertainty, etc.)

In addition, one step towards a resolution of the problem involves analysis of a diagram drawn by another spy. The story of Euler and the bridges is related and used to explain that this particular diagram must show the positions of two people, and not just one.

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Works Similar to Hapgood
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Enigma by Robert Harris / Tom Stoppard
  2. Jumpers by Tom Stoppard
  3. Improbable by Adam Fawer
  4. The Blind Geometer by Kim Stanley Robinson
  5. The Sabre Squadron by Simon Raven
  6. The Deluge by Stephen Markley
  7. The Eight by Katherine Neville
  8. Sneakers by Phil Alden Robinson (director)
  9. 7 Steps to Midnight by Richard Matheson
  10. The Siege Of The "Lancashire Queen" by Jack London
Ratings for Hapgood:
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:
1.5/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (2 votes)

MotifReal Mathematicians,

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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)