I can not find the book.

Posted by Anonymous , 2 August 2009

By Editor

29 thoughts on “Dimensions in mathematics”
  1. By the way my name is Gizem.My name is means in English mystery:)

    Posted by Gizem Yumuk in in Turkey,Bursa ,

  2. Your name is Gizem and it means English mystery? :) And is that a hard G (like Gate or Get) or a soft G (as in Germany) ??

    Posted by Cass in Christchurch, NZ ,

  3. It may be Larssen, or it may be the translation, but reading what his fictional book has to say about mathematics is like reading Michael Connelly on computers. The tone is false, and there are some howlers in the parts quoted from the book (e.g., equations don’t have “roots”, they have “solutions”; roots belong to polynomials). If the book really existed, it wouldn’t be worth reading.

    Posted by Cliff in Portland ,

  4. Here is my solution – I was reading it in the wee small hours because I couldn’t put it down – which may help to explain a few things!

    Can’t remember exact wording: She giggles and then there is something to the effect that it is more a question for philosophers or something like that.

    “She GIGGLES” – it is a joke – it is funny! – get it?

    … as in 1 1=”a window” all kids learn that – get it yet?

    Well, fine, ok: what do horrible, unsolvable maths questions do? they put you to sleep, right? and z3 is in fact “zzz” which any child can tell you means “sleep” so x3 y3 = “zzz”.

    x2 y2 = z2 is pythagorus theorum for a right angled triangle and completely solvable: apparantly x3 y3 = z3 is not.

    I don’t know the maths of trying to solve it but late at night reading the book, she is a maths genious who could not solve the problem, until she “gets the joke and giggles” – I actually just came on line to see if someone else had “discovered” the answer and reached the same conclusion I did – I laughed out loud reading it because my sleep deprived brain actually made the connection between being tired and “zzz”.

    x3 y3 = z3 is a parody and the answer is funny.

    there is a Simpsons episode that had a maths joke with the solution being rdr2 (which is rdrr, or – say it – r d r r – “ha de ha ha”)

    ps just in case: ( 1 1=window: if you write 1 with touching the 1 then write another 1 touching the other side of the 1 then write the = as one line above the and one below, you have drawn a window )

    of course I could have it completely wrong but I don’t think so and I like it! She is a maths genious and recognises it can’t be solved and that the mathematician was having a laugh, all these serious people trying with great seriousness to solve the problem and they don’t realise it is a joke – she has just got the joke!

    Posted by Jess in Wellington, NZ ,

  5. “The answer was so disarmingly simple. A game

    with numbers that lined up and then fell into place in a simple formula that was most

    similar to a rebus.

    Fermat had no computer, of course, and Wiles’ solution was based on mathematics

    that had not been invented when Fermat formulated his theorem. Fermat would never

    have been able to produce the proof that Wiles had presented. Fermat’s solution was

    quite different.

    She was so stunned that she had to sit down on a tree stump. She gazed straight

    ahead as she checked the equation.

    So that’s what he meant. No wonder mathematicians were tearing out their


    Then she giggled.

    A philosopher would have had a better chance of solving this riddle.

    She wished she could have known Fermat.

    He was a cocky devil.”

    Posted by Jess in Wellington, NZ ,

  6. Apparently it never existed. Too bad. Here is a blog entry from Harvard University Press


    Dimensions in Mathematics – a phantom, a chimera

    Readers who will have snagged a copy of Steig Larsson’s newest thriller The Girl Who Played with Fire (it’s out in the UK, translated from the original Swedish; US edition is coming in July) will have noticed that female protagonist Lisbeth Salander satisfies her nascent interest in spherical astronomy with the help of a book titled “Dimensions in Mathematics,” written by one L. C. Parnault and apparently published by Harvard University Press in 1999.

    Unfortunately for those of you who would like to follow in Lisbeth’s footsteps and penetrate the “dimensions of mathematics” for yourselves, you’ll have to turn somewhere other than the work of the esteemed Dr. Parnault, for as far as we can tell, and if our memories and our computers have not completely failed us, HUP has in fact published no such work, in 1999 or at any other time. Thus it seems that Mr. Larsson, whose Scandanavian crime fiction has won him a good deal of posthumous fame, leaves us with more than just fictional mysteries. We can only speculate about what Dr. Parnault would have been like, had we actually known or published him, and as for the contents of his mythical “Dimensions,” well, that’s an even greater mystery. For all we know, it could be the key to the universe or something, and now it’s gone missing! So if you’ve spied a copy of “Dimensions” in some musty back-alley secondhand shop, or know the whereabouts of our friend Dr. Parnault, or if somehow you yourself are Dr. Parnault, just, um, get in touch.

    Posted by Steve Y in Ann Arbor, MI ,

  7. No, it doesn’t exist, but there are plenty of good reading books on numbers and in particular, FLT. I was slightly disappointed that the only math person referred to in ” … fire” was Pierre de Fermat himself. The person who made first major contribution to a proof was a French girl, Sophie Germain who encountered prejudice all her life, and even after it. She was an exceptional person whose exploits are reminiscent of Lisbeth’s. Her story is inspirational and Lisbeth would have loved her.

    Posted by scormus in zurich, switzerland ,

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