Author(s): Leonard Mlodinow
This text leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, via biographical stories, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to contemporary notions of hyperspace. It reveals simple questions that have been the hidden engines of major achievements in science and technology.
Leonard Mlodinow, PhD, was a member of the faculty of the Californian Institute of Technology before moving to Hollywoos to become a writer for televsion. He has developed many best seliing and award-winning CD-ROMs and is currently VIce President,Emerging Technologies and R&D at Scolastic Inc. He lives in New York City.
Part 1 The story of Euclid: the first revolution; the geometry of taxation; among the seven sages; the secret society; Euclid's manifesto; a beautiful woman, a library, and the end of civilization. Part 2 The story of Descartes: the revolution in place; the origin of latitude and longitude; the legacy of the rotten Romans; the discreet charm of the graph; a soldier's story; iced by the snow queen. Part 3 The story of Gauss: the curved space revolution; the trouble with Ptolemy; a Napoleonic hero; the fall of the fifth postulate; lost in hyperbolic space; some insects called the human race; a tale of two aliens; after 2000 years, a face-lift. Part 4 The story of Einstein: revolution at the speed of light; relativity's other Albert; the stuff of space; probationary technical expert, third class; a relatively Euclidean approach; Einstein's apple; from inspiration to perspiration; blue hair triumphs. Part 5 The story of Witten: the weird revolution; ten things I hate about your theory; the necessary uncertainty of being; clash of the Titans; a message in a Kaluza-Klein bottle; the birth of strings; particles, schmarticles!; the trouble with strings; the theory formerly known as strings.