Author: Ian Stewart
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2008-07-31
Flatland is a unique, delightful satire that has charmed readers for over a century. Published in 1884 by the English clergyman and headmaster Edwin A. Abbott, it is the fanciful tale of A. Square, a two-dimensional being who is whisked away by a mysterious visitor to The Land of Three Dimensions, an experience that forever alters his worldview. Like the original, Ian Stewart's commentary takes readers on a strange and wonderful journey. With clarity and wit, Stewart illuminates Abbott's numerous Victorian references and touches on such diverse topics as ancient Babylon, Karl Marx, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Mt. Everest, H.G. Wells, and phrenology. The Annotated Flatland makes fascinating connections between Flatland and Abbott's era, resulting in a classic to rival Abbott's own, and a book that will inspire and delight curious readers for generations to come.
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 science fiction novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." As such, the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics and computer science students.
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 science fiction novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott.As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland as "The best introduction one can find into the manner of perceiving dimensions." As such, the novella is still popular amongst mathematics, physics and computer science students.
Flatland (1884) is an influential mathematical fantasy that simultaneously provides an introduction to non-Euclidean geometry and a satire on the Victorian class structure, issues of science and faith, and the role of women. A classic of early science fiction, the novel takes place in a world of two dimensions where all the characters are geometric shapes. The narrator, A Square, is a naïve, respectable citizen who is faced with proof of the existence of three dimensions when he is visited by a sphere and is forced to see the limitations of his world. The introduction to this Broadview Edition provides context for the book’s references to Victorian culture and religion, mathematical history, and the history of philosophy. The appendices contain contemporary reviews; extracts from the work of fellow mathematical fantasy writer/mathematician Charles Hinton; Hermann von Helmboltz’s “The Axioms of Geometry” (1870); and autobiographical passages from Abbott’s The Kernel and the Husk (1886).
Author: Edwin A. Abbott
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2008-06-12
How would a creature limited to two dimensions be able to grasp the possibility of a third? In Flatland, A Square's linear world is invaded by a Sphere bringing the gospel of the third dimension. Part geometry lesson, part social satire, the novel enlarges readers' imaginations beyond the limits of our 'respective dimensional prejudices'.
Author: Mark Blacklock
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-04-05
Genre: Literary Criticism
The Emergence of the Fourth Dimension describes the development and proliferation of the idea of higher dimensional space in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries. An idea from mathematics that was appropriated by occultist thought, it emerged in the fin de siècle as a staple of genre fiction and influenced a number of important Modernist writers and artists. Providing a context for thinking of space in dimensional terms, the volume describes an active interplay between self-fashioning disciplines and a key moment in the popularisation of science. It offers new research into spiritualism and the Theosophical Society and studies a series of curious hybrid texts. Examining works by Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, H.G. Wells, Henry James, H. P. Lovecraft, and others, the volume explores how new theories of the possibilities of time and space influenced fiction writers of the period, and how literature shaped, and was in turn shaped by, the reconfiguration of imaginative space occasioned by the n-dimensional turn. A timely study of the interplay between philosophy, literature, culture, and mathematics, it offers a rich resource for readers interested in nineteenth century literature, Modernist studies, science fiction, and gothic scholarship.
Author: Stuart Firestein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-04-23
Knowledge is a big subject, says Stuart Firestein, but ignorance is a bigger one. And it is ignorance--not knowledge--that is the true engine of science. Most of us have a false impression of science as a surefire, deliberate, step-by-step method for finding things out and getting things done. In fact, says Firestein, more often than not, science is like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. The process is more hit-or-miss than you might imagine, with much stumbling and groping after phantoms. But it is exactly this "not knowing," this puzzling over thorny questions or inexplicable data, that gets researchers into the lab early and keeps them there late, the thing that propels them, the very driving force of science. Firestein shows how scientists use ignorance to program their work, to identify what should be done, what the next steps are, and where they should concentrate their energies. And he includes a catalog of how scientists use ignorance, consciously or unconsciously--a remarkable range of approaches that includes looking for connections to other research, revisiting apparently settled questions, using small questions to get at big ones, and tackling a problem simply out of curiosity. The book concludes with four case histories--in cognitive psychology, theoretical physics, astronomy, and neuroscience--that provide a feel for the nuts and bolts of ignorance, the day-to-day battle that goes on in scientific laboratories and in scientific minds with questions that range from the quotidian to the profound. Turning the conventional idea about science on its head, Ignorance opens a new window on the true nature of research. It is a must-read for anyone curious about science.
Flatland, see Flatlandblends three genres - the annotated novel, the parallel novel and the reimagined classic - into a fantastical editionof the 1884 science fiction novellaFlatland: A Romance of Many Dimensionsby Edward Abbott Abbott. Twelve designers collaborated to produce areading experience that is both idiosyncratic and systematic. Abbott's original text is juxtaposed with graphic intrusions, marginalia andsubplots guaranteed to engage readers of all dimensions 'throughout the universe, in perpetuity'.
A history of one of mathematics' most baffling conundrums looks at the century-old Poincar Conjecture, a fundamental principle of modern geometry, topology, and the possible shape of the universe, as well as efforts by generations of mathematicians to find a solution to the problem, for which the Clay Mathematics Institute is offering a million-dollar prize. 30,000 first printing.