Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity (Belknap Press)

Naming Infinity: A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity (Belknap Press)

Loren Graham, Jean-Michel Kantor

In 1913, Russian imperial marines stormed an Orthodox monastery at Mt. Athos, Greece, to haul off priests engaged in a dangerously heretical perform often called identify Worshipping. Exiled to distant Russian outposts, the clergymen and their mystical move went underground. finally, they came upon Russian intellectuals who embraced identify Worshipping—and who may in achieving one of many largest mathematical breakthroughs of the 20 th century, going past contemporary French achievements.

Loren Graham and Jean-Michel Kantor take us on an exhilarating mathematical secret travel as they get to the bottom of a strange story of political struggles, mental crises, sexual complexities, and moral dilemmas. on the center of this e-book is the competition among French and Russian mathematicians who sought new solutions to 1 of the oldest puzzles in math: the character of infinity. The French tuition chased rationalist recommendations. The Russian mathematicians, particularly Dmitri Egorov and Nikolai Luzin—who based the recognized Moscow university of Mathematics—were encouraged through mystical insights attained in the course of identify Worshipping. Their spiritual perform appears to be like to have opened to them visions into the infinite—and ended in the founding of descriptive set conception.

the boys and ladies of the prime French and Russian mathematical faculties are principal characters during this soaking up story which can now not be informed earlier. Naming Infinity is a poignant human curiosity tale that increases provocative questions on technological know-how and faith, instinct and ­creativity.

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