Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is a satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first published in 1884. Written pseudonymously by “A Square”,the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to comment on the hierarchy of Victorian culture, but the novella’s more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.
Physicists and science popularizers Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking have both commented on and postulated about the effects of Flatland. Sagan recreates the thought experiment as a set-up for discussing the possibilities of higher dimensions of the physical universe in both the book and television series Cosmos, whereas Hawking notes the peculiarity of life in two-dimensional space.
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