samskivert: Flatterland – Ian Stewart (3)

25 May 2003

A worthy successor to Edwin Abbot’s tale of Albert line in Flatland, Stewart covers a great deal more ground (and space) in telling the story of Albert’s great great granddaughter, Victoria Line. His mathematical meanderings are clothed in just enough narrative to preserve continuity and the wordplay, if not always brilliant, is darned good for a mathematician. For his finale, he veers off into the realm of the physical, giving a very readable overview of relativity, quantum mechanics, supersymmetry and string theory. It’s a pleasurable romp through the fields of mathematics and far and away easier to read than any other treatment of the same subject matter.

©1999–2022 Michael Bayne