Geometry, Relativity, and the Fourth Dimension

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Courier Corporation, Jan 1, 1977 - Science - 133 pages
3 Reviews

This is a highly readable, popular exposition of the fourth dimension and the structure of the universe. A remarkable pictorial discussion of the curved space-time we call home, it achieves even greater impact through the use of 141 excellent illustrations. This is the first sustained visual account of many important topics in relativity theory that up till now have only been treated separately.
Finding a perfect analogy in the situation of the geometrical characters in Flatland, Professor Rucker continues the adventures of the two-dimensional world visited by a three-dimensional being to explain our three-dimensional world in terms of the fourth dimension. Following this adventure into the fourth dimension, the author discusses non-Euclidean geometry, curved space, time as a higher dimension, special relativity, time travel, and the shape of space-time. The mathematics is sound throughout, but the casual reader may skip those few sections that seem too purely mathematical and still follow the line of argument. Readable and interesting in itself, the annotated bibliography is a valuable guide to further study.
Professor Rucker teaches mathematics at the State University of New York in Geneseo. Students and laymen will find his discussion to be unusually stimulating. Experienced mathematicians and physicists will find a great deal of original material here and many unexpected novelties. Annotated bibliography. 44 problems.

 

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easiest and most satisfying short read on the subject. playfully and succinctly describes hyperspace using different models to give you alternate ways to view and grasp it. a short book with a lot of powerful concepts; neither cutesy nor pedantic. wish more books were as good as this one.

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Contents

The Fourth Dimension
1
NonEuclidean Geometry
17
Curved Space
36
Time as a Higher Dimension
57
Special Relativity
68
Time Travel
92
The Shape of SpaceTime
100
Conclusion
117
Annotated Bibliography
119
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About the author (1977)

Rudy Rucker is a mathematician, computer scientist, professor and writer who has twice won the Philip K. Dick Award for best SF paperback original, and has published a number of successful popular books on mathematical subjects, including "The Fourth Dimension" and "Infinity and the Mind." He lives in Los Gatos, California.