A Stranger from Spaceland | Science News


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Math Trek

A Stranger from Spaceland

4:53pm, June 3, 2002

"It was the last day of the 1999th year of our era. The pattering of the rain

had long ago announced nightfall; and I was sitting in the company of my

wife, musing on the events of the past and the prospects of the coming

year, the coming century, the coming Millennium."

Those words appear near the beginning of the 15th chapter of a remarkable

book titled Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.

Written in 1884 by Edwin A. Abbott (1838–1926), this slim volume has long

served as a doorway to the fourth dimension and beyond for many explorers

of geometry. The books central figure and narrator, "A Square," takes


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