144 pages, 7.76 × 5.07 × 0.38 in
October 1, 1998
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 014043531x
ISBN - 13: 9780140435313
Read from the Book
FLATLANDA Romance of Many Dimensions------------------------------ BY A. SQUARE(EDWIN A. ABBOTT) WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHORANDAN INTRODUCTION BY ALAN LIGHTMAN PENGUIN BOOKSINTRODUCTIONIn the summer of 1973, I went on a camping trip in Sequoia National Park. I was a graduate student in physics at the time, and my two companions were also physicists. Carved out of granite by retreating glaciers, Sequoia National Park lies in the southern end of the great Sierra Nevada mountain range of California and is most famous for its giant sequoia trees, which attain heights of several hundred feet and ages of two thousand years. In Sequoia, one’s senses are overwhelmed. The land tilts and swerves from the ancient shifting of subterranean faults, snow-covered mountains jut into space, shady forests suddenly give way to bright meadows.During this barrage of sensation, in which it seemed to me that every cubic inch of the world was filled to its maximum capacity, one of my fellow campers, John Schwarz, was at work formulating a new theory of nature—a theory that required seven additional dimensions beyond the usual three. Schwarz’s pioneering calculations, called “string theory” and later extended by other theoretical physicists, are now regarded as the best attempt to develop a quantum theory of gravity and to unify all the forces of nature. For technical reasons, such a theory demands more than length, width, and breadth. Fortunately, the extra dimensions are curled up in such ti
From the Publisher
A 'romance of many dimensions' that has fascinated generations of readers with its clever blend of social satire and mathematical theory, the Penguin Classics edition of Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland introduction by Alan Lightman. A work that continues to pose provocative questions about perception and reality, Flatland is a brilliant parody of Victorian society where all existence is limited to length and breadth - its inhabitants unable even to imagine a third dimension. The amiable narrator, A Square, provides an overview of this fantastic world - its physics and metaphysics, its history, customs and religious beliefs. But when a strange visitor mysteriously appears and transports the incredulous Flatlander to the Land of Three Dimensions, his world view is forever shattered. Written more than a century ago, Flatland conceals within its brilliant parody of Victorian society speculations about the universe that resonate in Einstein's theory of relativity as well as the current 'string-theory' of nature. Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) was a leading scholar and theologian of the Victorian era. If you enjoyed Flatland you may like H.G. Wells's The Sleeper Awakes, also available in Penguin Classics.
About the Author
Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926) was a leading scholar and theologian of the Victorian era. Alan Lightman, the author of 'Einstein's Dream' and other books, is an astrophysicist and the Director of the Writing Program at M.I.T.
From Our Editors
Although this romantic novel is more than 100 years old, its insights into the structure of the universe still resonate today. On the surface, Flatland is a parody of Victorian limitations: lives restricted to length and breadth without any depth. However, Edwin A. Abbott’s musings have flavours of Einstein’s theory of relativity and the more recent string theory of nature.