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Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society

ISSN 1088-9485(online) ISSN 0273-0979(print)



``Theoretical mathematics'': toward a cultural synthesis of mathematics and theoretical physics

Authors: Arthur Jaffe and Frank Quinn
Journal: Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 29 (1993), 1-13
MSC (2000): Primary 00A30; Secondary 00A35, 00A79, 01A60
MathSciNet review: 1202292
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Abstract: Is speculative mathematics dangerous? Recent interactions between physics and mathematics pose the question with some force: traditional mathematical norms discourage speculation, but it is the fabric of theoretical physics. In practice there can be benefits, but there can also be unpleasant and destructive consequences. Serious caution is required, and the issue should be considered before, rather than after, obvious damage occurs. With the hazards carefully in mind, we propose a framework that should allow a healthy and positive role for speculation.

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Article copyright: © Copyright 1993 American Mathematical Society

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