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Topic: Riemann inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
and Through the Looking-Glass (?)

Replies: 3   Last Post: May 8, 2013 9:19 AM

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David Bernier

Posts: 3,662
Registered: 12/13/04
Re: Riemann inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice's Adventures in
Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (?)

Posted: May 8, 2013 9:19 AM
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On 05/08/2013 07:30 AM, gus gassmann wrote:
> On 07/05/2013 6:23 PM, David Bernier wrote:
>> On 05/07/2013 04:48 PM, David Bernier wrote:
>>> That is what Wikipedia says, citing an article from 2004
>>> that is inacessible to me, ref. 4 at the Wikipedia page
>>> on Riemann.
>>> Cf.:
>>> Section on Riemann's influence:
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Riemann .
>>> The Wikipedia page on Lewis Carroll,
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Lutwidge_Dodgson
>>> shows that both books appeared after Riemann's 1859 paper,
>>> which some say made Riemann "famous" within a short few
>>> years.
>>> The Wikipedia page on Lewis Carroll gives no hint of
>>> an influence of Riemann on Carroll ...

>> Quoting a 1994 book review on "Hyperspace" by physicist
>> Michio Kaku:
>> "Riemann's geometry inspired one Englishman, Oxford mathematician Lewis
>> Carroll, to write "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." "
>> [LA Times; March 15, 1994 by BETTYANN KEVLES ; SPECIAL TO THE TIMES ]
>> cf.:
>> http://articles.latimes.com/1994-03-15/news/vw-34100_1_a-scientific-odyssey-through-parallel-universes
>> So, is the reviewer right?

> I'm sure you are also aware of this:
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427391.600-alices-adventures-in-algebra-wonderland-solved.html
> Seems there is something to the claim.

It's a very interesting article.

I didn't know in fact about Lewis Carroll poking fun at
non-commutative rings, and the "pure time" notion that Hamilton
introduced/injected into the quaternions.
[via "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" ].

The dialog where one party says "mean what I say" =/=
"say what I mean" and "eat what I see" =/=
"see what I eat" fits an "attack" on
non-commutative products.

With respect to Carroll's: "Euclid and his modern rivals",
mentioned at least by one commenter,
it was first published in 1879, coincidentally the
year in which Albert Einstein was born.

"Euclid and his modern rivals" is freely available
from here:

It seems that Carroll speaks through "Minos", but this
one can only surmise.

Minos objects to replacing Euclid's Elements by other
books from the 1800's (one by A.M. Legendre, .. Geometrie)
for teaching plane (Euclidean) geometry to beginners.

Herr Niemand appears before Minos to defend the merits
of Legendre's and others books which seek to "improve"
on Euclid.

Also, Euclid in the form of a ghost (verbatim: a "shade", specter)
makes an appearance before Minos.

The various authors of modern times are usually represented
by Herr Niemand, who does the job of an advocate/lawyer
for all the modern authors.

David Bernier

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