Sunday, 24 May 2009

question and hope

A couple of quotes from Knots: Mathematics with a Twist by Alexei Sossinsky.
So the arithmetic of knots has not helped us to classify them. But there is scant reason to talk of failure here: Schubert’s theorem <that every knot decomposes uniquely into prime knots> does not need any applications; it is mathematical art for art’s sake, and of the most exalted kind.
Research always begins with a question, and hope.

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