The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

A Disappering Number

Thursday morning, NPR had a story about a play called A Disappearing Number now playing at the Lincoln Center Theater Festival.  Since I am bringing it up here, you can bet that there are plenty of science connections in this show.

A Disappearing number weaves a number of stories and themes together, some based in history and some original.  One of the threads involved a young Indian mathematician named Srinivasa Ramanujan who goes to Cambridge to study with G.H. Hardy during WWI.  Together, they worked on formulas which now have applications in string theory.  Hardy is famous for writing A Mathematicians Apology, one of the books to read if you want to know how a mathematician thinks.  The story is interwoven with that of modern day Ruth (a math professor) and her husband Al, a futures trader (which has plenty of math in its own right).

I love seeing science make its way onto the stage through shows such as Copenhagen, Proof, Next to Normal, Arcadia, the Farnsworth Invention and Hapgood to name a few.

I haven’t seen the show and it only runs for five days (two of which are gone) so unless you have tickets, you probably won’t see it live this time.  Fortunately, it is being recorded for a broadcast to movie theaters in October.  I just signed up for their twitter feed so I will not miss it!


July 17, 2010 - Posted by | Television/Theater

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