Infinity in Physics

Is it necessary, in order to justify a physicist’s claim to deal with the infinite—a privilege that might seem reserved to the mathematician and the philosopher—to recall that physical thought has long been linked to the infinite? Archimedes (the first ph

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Imagine Math 7

Between Culture and Mathematics

Imagine Math 7

Michele Emmer • Marco Abate Editors

Imagine Math 7 Between Culture and Mathematics

Editors Michele Emmer Sapienza University of Rome (retired) Rome, Italy and IVSLA – Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti Roma, Italy

Marco Abate Mathematics Department University of Pisa Pisa, Italy

ISBN 978-3-030-42652-1 ISBN 978-3-030-42653-8 (eBook) © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illustration: From the catalogue of the exhibition by Mimmo Paladino, Sulla Mathematica, Palazzo Loredan, IVSLA, Venice, March-April, 2019, Centro Internazionale della Grafica, Venezia This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG. The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

To Nanni Balestrini


Imagine all the people Sharing all the world . . . John Lennon

Imagine building mathematical models that make it possible to manage our world better, imagine solving great problems, imagine new problems never before thought of or imagine combining music, art, poetry, literature, architecture, theatre and cinema with mathematics. Imagine the unpredictable and sometimes counterintuitive applications of mathematics in all areas of human endeavour. Imagination and mathematics, imagination and culture, culture and mathematics. For some years now the world of mathematics has penetrated deeply into human culture, perhaps more deeply than ever before, even more than in the Renaissance. In theatre, stories of mathematicians are staged; in cinema Oscars are won by films about mathematicians; all over the world museums and science centres dedicated to mathematics are multiplying. Journals have been founded to explore the relationships between mathem