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Topic: Dr. Moriarty
Replies: 14   Last Post: Apr 23, 2000 2:15 AM

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Robert Hill

Posts: 529
Registered: 12/8/04
Re: Dr. Moriarty
Posted: Apr 20, 2000 7:48 AM
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In article <>, Fred W. Helenius <> writes:

> >>In the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, the evil Dr. Moriarty is a mathematician.
> >>Is there ever any explicit mention of his mathematics?

> Later he moved on to celestial mechanics:
> "Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a
> book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that
> it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of
> criticizing it?" -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Valley of Fear"

Had he not been taken from us at the Reichenbach Falls, he could perhaps
have been contributing to knowledge today, whithout needing to change
topic. The periods of asteroid orbits exhibit resonances with the orbit
of Jupiter which are still the subject of research, and if the ratios
of the principal moments of inertia of an asteroid satisfy some condition
which I forget, its rotation about its centre of mass can take the
form of chaotic tumbling.

As is well known, Doyle was finally forced to resurrect Holmes after the
Reichenbach incident. Though Moriarty was not brought back to life,
a new master villain was created in his place: Colonel Sebastian Moran.
I think he was said to have been Moriarty's right-hand man.
But I don't think he was a mathematician.

Robert Hill

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