Flatterland

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Flatterland
Author Ian Stewart
Language English
Genre Popular science
Publisher Perseus Publishing
Publication date
2001
Pages 320

Flatterland is a 2001 book by mathematician and science popularizer Ian Stewart about non-Euclidean geometry. It was written as a sequel to Flatland, an 1884 novel that discussed different dimensions.

Plot summary[edit]

One of the examples given in Flatterland concerns how to escape from a black hole. For an explanation of this diagram, see the file page.

Almost 100 years after A. (which we find out stands for Albert) Square's adventures that were related in Flatland, his great-great-granddaughter, Victoria Line (Vikki), finds a copy of his book in her basement. This prompts her to invite a sphere from Spaceland to visit her, but instead she is visited by the "Space Hopper" (a character looking somewhat like the "Space Hopper" children's toy with a gigantic grin, horns and a spherical body). The Space Hopper, more than being able to move between Flatland and Spaceland, can travel to any space in the Mathiverse, a set of all imaginable worlds. After showing Vikki higher dimensions, he begins showing her more modern theories, such as fractional dimensions and dimensions with isolated points. Topology and hyperbolic geometry are also discussed, as well as the Projective "Plain" (complete with intersecting "lions") and the quantum level. Hopper and Victoria also visit the Domain of the Hawk King to discuss time travel and the theory of relativity.

Real-world references[edit]

Ian Stewart often includes puns and topical references in his popular writing, and "Flatterland" is no exception.

Editions[edit]