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The Galois Quaternion:
A Story

From The French Mathematician
by Tom Petsinis (Nov. 30, 1998)–


I had foreseen it all in precise detail.
One step led inevitably to the next,
like the proof of a shining theorem,
down to the conclusive shot that still echoes
through time and space.
Facedown in the damp pine needles,
I embraced that fatal sphere
with my whole body. Dreams, memories,
even the mathematics I had cherished
and set down in my last will and testament–
all receded. I am reduced to
a singular point; in an instant
I am transformed to i.

i = an imaginary being

Here, on this complex space,
i am no longer the impetuous youth
who wanted to change the world
first with a formula and then with a flame.
Having learned the meaning of infinite patience,
i now rise to the text whenever anyone reads
about Evariste Galois, preferring to remain
just below the surface,
like a goldfish nibbling the fringe of a floating leaf.
Ink is more mythical than blood
(unless some ancient poet slit his
vein and wrote an epic in red):
The text is a two-way mirror
that allows me to look into
the life and times of the reader.
Who knows, someday i may rise
to a text that will compel me
to push through to the other side.
Do you want proof that i exist? Where am i?
Beneath every word, behind each letter,
on the side of a period that will never see the light.

From a finite space: 
  the Galois quaternion--

The Galois Quaternion

  Click for context.

Page created by Steven H. Cullinane on January 6, 2010.