Going one better than nature?

  title={Going one better than nature?},
  author={John Emsley},
  • J. Emsley
  • Published 5 April 2001
  • Mathematics
  • Nature
rearranging them to form the other one. Hilbert’s third problem asked whether such a proof could be devised for tetrahedra. But his real interest was in the metamathematical question of whether the use of calculus was necessary. This was the first of his problems to be solved. In 1902, Max Dehn showed that calculus was needed. Two of Hilbert’s problems have, famously, had metamathematical solutions. His first problem was to prove or disprove Cantor’s continuum hypothesis, which is the statement… 

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