# Questions tagged [mathematics]

An abstract system of agreed definitions based on logical reasoning to represent quantity, structure and change of physical objects for the purposes of deducting truth.

28 questions
1answer
158 views

### Story with continued fraction formula

When I was in my teens, so it must have been in the seventies, I read a science fiction story (I do not remember whether it was a novel or a short story) that contained a displayed mathematical ...
1answer
93 views

### Story with the continuum hypothesis at the end [duplicate]

When I was in my teens, I think (if so it must have been in the seventies or early eighties), I read a short story about a single person landing in a space ship on a hostile military planet, and then ...
0answers
790 views

### What relationship is there between the Tesseract in MCU and the mathematical object?

(Title inspired by What relationship is there between tesseracts in A Wrinkle in Time and the mathematical object?) Why is the Tesseract called "the Tesseract"? Is it really 4-dimensional? Related, ...
1answer
297 views

### Is the audience laughing at Dr Alexander Murry's presentation?

In the 2018 film adaptation by Jennifer Lee of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, there is a scene where Dr Alexander Murry (henceforth Dr Murry even if his wife is also Dr Murry), played by ...
3answers
12k views

### Has a Star Wars character ever been told the odds and not gone on to beat them?

C3-PO: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1! K2-SO: There is a ninety-seven point six percent chance of failure. This happens a lot in ...
3answers
463 views

### Do we ever see anyone perform a mathematical calculation with magic in Harry Potter?

From Pottermore: Witches and wizards are not averse to laborious calculations, which they can, after all, do magically, so they do not find it inconvenient to weigh in ounces, pounds and stones; ...
1answer
405 views

### Cosmic topology in Greg Egan's Orthogonal Universe

Eventually the people in the universe of Greg Egan's "Orthogonal" series figure out the topology of their cosmos. But then they say the opposite, that because of the presence of matter. So what ...
0answers
77 views

### Division on the soul splitting [duplicate]

I don't think there will be a canonical answer for this question. I'm just wondering if this is how it works. It's said that when you kill someone, you split your soul. I believe that means you split ...
5answers
487 views

### What was the first story where a universal constant had a different value?

In some stories, the value of a universal constant is different than it is reality. For example, in Going Postal: 'Something like that, sir, probably, something like that,' said Groat. 'Three and ...
3answers
794 views

### Is there any mention of mathematicians in Westeros?

I'm thinking people in Westeros and Essos know or ought to know math such as basic geometry and probability and maybe some basics of finance, economics, physics, engineering, technology, medicine or ...
1answer
305 views

### Corridor with a dead body turns out to be a Möbius strip

I'm looking for a book of science fiction short stories. One of the stories describes the experiences of a man who finds himself in a corridor with a dead body. The corridor turns out to be a Möbius ...
1answer
506 views

### I remember a children's book with math and a world inside a book

I remember reading an English (as in North American) children's book more than a decade ago, where the plot was like: Some kid gets this math textbook or something from his local library, for the ...
1answer
877 views

### Looking for a Science Fiction Short Story Involving Mathematics

I'm looking for a science fiction short story. I think it is a couple of pages in length. A father mathematician bemoans his mentally challenged child who appears to have Down's Syndrome, doesn't talk ...
2answers
474 views

### Looking for a sci-fi novel about first contact

Male author who did not typically write science fiction. Novel came out in the 1990's I think. It seemed initially to be a story about a serial killer but it turns out the protagonist was merely ...
1answer
182 views

### Novel with humans travelling to a distant planet becoming super-intelligent [duplicate]

I'm trying to find the name of a novel (or was it a short story) where a group of humans travel to a distant planet and along the way (through genetics?) become more and more intelligent. I seem to ...
2answers
747 views

### Story about extraterrestrial slug trying to communicate

As a child circa the late 1970s, I read a poignant science fiction story that I would love to be able to identify. As best I can recall after all these years, the story went something like this: A ...
1answer
599 views

### Science-Fiction Novel - Female Mathematician - Late '90s?

I once read a paperback novel by an author that I can't seem to remember that revolved around a female mathematician. She ends up nearly be killed by her sister by being placed in a kind of learning ...
7answers
2k views

### Use of Spherical portals in fiction

In the vast majority of science fiction and fantasy that uses portals, the portals are a kind of two dimensional object or a long tunnel. Often, if a portal is a free standing door, those on the '...
4answers
3k views

### Is there a “mathematics fiction” genre? [closed]

The science fiction genre has been and is still an area in which visionary authors can express their ideas about new sciences. Many successful academic research were influenced by works of science ...
1answer
820 views

### Short story about apples and oranges, character's grandfather teaches him algebra rather than computer algorithms and estimation

I am looking for an old short story I read at least 30 years ago. It was about apples and oranges (the ubiquitous story problem). The main character has a grandfather that teaches him algebra rather ...
2answers
469 views

### A book where 2-dimensional species evolved on rapidly changing environment

I remember a book that described various lifeforms evolving in the galaxy (and i think may be the overriding theme was extinction). One of them was 2-D species evolved on rapidly changing environment ...
1answer
1k views

### Looking for title & author - short story - possibly called “Arms Race” - about rediscovery of manual arithmetic [duplicate]

short story - possibly called "Arms Race" - about rediscovery of manual arithmetic. The hero rediscovers manual calculation - e.g., how to do long division with pencil and paper - in a world where ...
5answers
2k views

### Does the computer-system on the Enterprise NCC-1701-D still follow the basic architecture of a Turing Machine?

Although the Turing Machine is a theoretical model to describe computing power, in its basic idea today's computers are still (quite sophisticated) implementations of this basic concept, although you ...
1answer
2k views

### Was Keeler's Theorem penned for Futurama, or was it the inspiration?

In the Prisoner of Benda, due to one-way body swap shenanigans, two Globetrotter's have to work out if they can get everyone's minds back in order. They prove it can be done with any two extra people. ...
1answer
358 views

### Great Theorem - Help name the Sci-fi book read long ago

I'm trying to find a book I read long back. This book may have won a Hugo/Nebula (Trust me I've googled to death this one!). Don't remember much of the story (that's why I want to re-read it). What I ...
10answers
7k views

### How does the Anti-Life Equation work?

After reading another question, I had the unfortunate experience of trying to figure out what this Anti-Life Equation was. I came to the Wikipedia article that said that the current equation was: ...
5answers
14k views

### What was the equation shown in Benderama?

In the S8E2 episode of Futurama, Benderama, The Professor generates an equation to track the number of Benders that will be generated. It was shown on the screen for a few seconds. Can someone ...
10answers
8k views

### Which was the first novel set in universes where P=NP?

I wonder whether anyone has written a novel set in a universe where P=NP, in the event that there is more than one, which was the first? In this universe all problems that could be verified in ...