Surfing through Hyperspace
Understanding Higher Universes in Six Easy Lessons
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About the author
Clifford A. Pickover is a Research Staff Member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, and is the author of many books, including Strange Brains and Genius and Time: A Traveler's Guide, (OUP). He lives in Yorktown Heights, New York.
Do a little armchair time-travel, rub elbows with a four-dimensional intelligent life form, or stretch your mind to the furthest corner of an uncharted universe. With this astonishing guidebook, Surfing Through Hyperspace, you need not be a mathematician or an astrophysicist to explore the all-but-unfathomable concepts of hyperspace and higher-dimensional geometry.No subject in mathematics has intrigued both children and adults as much as the idea of a fourth dimension. Philosophers and parapsychologists have meditated on this mysterious space that no one can point to but may be all around us. Yet this extra dimension has a very real, practical value to mathematicians and physicists who use it every day in their calculations. In the tradition of Flatland, and with an infectious enthusiasm, Clifford Pickover tackles the problems inherent in our 3-D brains trying to visualize a 4-D world, muses on the religious implications of the existence of higher-dimensional consciousness, and urges all curious readers to venture into "the unexplored territory lying beyond the prison of the obvious." Pickover alternates sections that explain the science of hyperspace with sections that dramatize mind-expanding concepts through a fictional dialogue between two futuristic FBI agents who dabble in the fourth dimension as a matter of national security. This highly accessible and entertaining approach turns an intimidating subject into a scientific game open to all dreamers.Surfing Through Hyperspace concludes with a number of puzzles, computer experiments and formulas for further exploration, inviting readers to extend their minds across this inexhaustibly intriguing scientific terrain.
Oxford University Press
; May 2001
272 pages; ISBN 9780199923816Read online
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Title: Surfing through Hyperspace
Author: Clifford A. Pickover
In the press
"Pickover alternates expositions of math, physics and geometry with episodes of instructional science fiction while showing interested amateurs the mathematical and physical properties of higher spatial dimensions."--Publishers Weekly
"Is there, asks Clifford Pickover, more to our Universe than forwards, sidewards, and up? Before I knew it, I was well and truly infected. After explaining how his book would cover all the usual stuff about higher dimensions--their unimaginability, their weird properties, and how physicists think they may hold the key to understanding the Universe--Pickover sprung his trap: 'I want to know if humankind's gods could exist in the fourth dimension'....I read the book in two sittings. I'm still under its influence, which is all the more perplexing considering how abstract and unworldly higher dimensions are."--Robert Mathews, New Scientist
"Mark my words: within a few months, you too will come across others in the grip of infection by this amazing book."--New Scientist
"Extraordinary book."--Daily Telegraph (UK)
"In recent years, Pickover has taken up the helm once worn by Isaac Asimov as the most compelling popular explainer of cutting-edge scientific ideas."--"In Pittsburgh"