Home > Resource of the Month Archive Detail

<< Prev 1/29/2006 Next >>

FLATLAND...A Fourth View (Science Fiction and Articles)

Time for a final discussion of my old favorite FLATLAND: A Romance of Many Dimensions (1884) by Edwin Abbott.... Our focus now shifts to the science fiction side of the fourth dimension, with the most famous examples being Madeleine L'Engle's child's book A Wrinkle in Time (1963) and Robert Heinlein's short story And He Built a Crooked House (1940), now available in an on-line version. Some other web site reviews of explorations of the fourth dimension ala science fiction are:

The above references are only starting points; I constantly am finding new science fiction relating to the fourth dimension. Two weeks ago while browsing through a musty used bookstore in San Jose (CA), I discovered Gnarl! (2000), a collection of Rudy Rucker's short stories, including the interesting "Message Found in a Copy of Flatland."

Now on to some published articles that explore the mathematics surorunding the fourth dimension. The following are some good references as a starting point:

  • Charlotte Mack's "Exploring Three- and Four-Dimensional Space," Mathematics Teacher, October 1995, pp. 572-575plus
  • Tom Banchoff's "From Flatland to Hypergraphics: Interacting with Higher Dimensions," Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol. 15, No. 4, 1990, pp. 364-372
  • Dean Priest's "Hypercubes, Hyperwindows, and Hyperstars," Mathematics Teacher, October 1977, pp. 606-609
  • Boyd Henry's "The Fourth Dimension and beyond...With a Surprise Ending!" Mathematics Teacher, March 1974, pp. 274-279
  • Martin Gardner's "Is it Possible to Visualize a Four-Dimensional Figure?" Scientific American, November 1966, pp. 138-143
  • Martin Gardner's "Fiction About Life in Two Dimensions," Scientific American, July 1962, pp. 144-152
  • R. Jacobson's "Spaceland--As Viewed Informally From the Fourth Dimension," Mathematics Magazine, September 1967, pp. 174-178
  • Andrew Watson's "Mathematics of a Fake World," New Scientist, June 2, 1988, pp. 41-45
  • Bradley Gorzitza's "Theoretical Properties of the Fourth Dimension," Vector, May 1979, pp. 18-23
If only these references and the Internet sites had been available when I was in college, as I did my senior math thesis on Properties of Higher Dimensions!