The connexions between mathematics and physics are manifold, and each enriches the other. But the relationship between the disciplines fluctuates between intimate harmony and cool indifference. Numerous examples show how mathematics, developed for its inherent interest in beauty, later played a central role in physical theory.

A well-known case is the multi-dimensional geometry formulated by Bernhard Riemann in the mid 19th century, which was exactly what Albert Einstein needed 50 years later for his relativity theory [TM240 or search for “thatsmaths” at irishtimes.com].