In this 90-minute BBC documentary, Dangerous Knowledge, David Malone takes a close look at four mathematicians – Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing – whose thinking profoundly influenced modern mathematics but also drove them (or so the program argues) to insanity and eventually suicide. Cantor gave us “set theory.” Boltzmann made important contributions in the fields of statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics. Gödel is remembered for his incompleteness theorems. Turing built on Gödel’s work and laid the foundation for computer science. They all spent their difficult final years in various states of mental decline. You can find Part 2 here.
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