Speculations on the Fourth Dimension: Selected Writings of Charles .H. Hinton

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9780486239163: Speculations on the Fourth Dimension: Selected Writings of Charles .H. Hinton
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Why should there be only three dimensions in space? Do we have a four-dimensional existence, but are we not conscious of it? If there are four dimensions, why not more than four - up to an infinite number? Pursuing such questions as these, Charles H. Hinton (1853-1907) speculated brilliantly on the idea of the fourth dimension, and in his best writings - which have here been brought together for the first time in one volume - he can finally be recognized as one of the most entertaining speculative thinkers of the turn of the century. Including material from all but three sections of Scientific Romances (1884-5), his most important writings from every stage of his career have been judiciously chosen and sympathetically edited for this anthology: "What is the Fourth Dimension?" (his first published essay), "A Plane World" (about life in two dimensions), "A Picture of Our Universe," "Casting Out the Self" (setting forth the ideas regarding his famous cubes), "Many Dimensions," "An Unfinished Communication," "A New Era of Thought," "The Fourth Dimension," "The Recognition of the Fourth Dimension," and "An Episode of Flatland," a delightful journey to the same fictional world that E. A. Abbott created in his classic book, Flatland. Hinton was one of the first mathematicians to write at length about the fourth dimension. He anticipated many of Einstein's discoveries, and - what's even more astonishing - he did so analogically, without the aid of any experimental data. Many of his ideas are still debated in scientific circles. In addition to making the selection for what promises to be the standard Hinton anthology, Professor Rudolf v.B. Rucker - well-known for his own speculations on the fourth dimension in Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension - has written a valuable introduction which assesses the scope of Hinton's contribution and outlines his entire career.

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