Searching for the missing truth by Marianne Freiberger, Plus magzine
“With a surprising new proof, two young mathematicians have found a bridge across the finite-infinite divide, helping at the same time to map this strange boundary.
The boundary does not pass between some huge finite number and the next, infinitely large one. Rather, it separates two kinds of mathematical statements: “finitistic” ones, which can be proved without invoking the concept of infinity, and “infinitistic” ones, which rest on the assumption — not evident in nature — that infinite objects exist.”
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Euclid’s Elements, a mathematical text book attributed to Euclid and in use from its appearance in Alexandria, Egypt around 300 BC until modern times, dealing with geometry and number theory. It has been described as the most influential text book ever written. Einstein had a copy as a child, which he treasured, later saying “If Euclid failed to kindle your youthful enthusiasm, then you were not born to be a scientific thinker.”
Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics and Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford
Serafina Cuomo, Reader in Roman History at Birkbeck University of London
June Barrow-Green, Professor of the History of Mathematics at the Open University
Lecture for a general audience.