Gödel's incompleteness theorem

Melvyn Bragg's program 'In Our Time' on Radio 4 (Thursday's 9am) is an endless source of fascination. Last week it was the story how ancient Greek manuscripts were translated into Arabic in the 900's and eventually came back to Europe 200 years later. Some of them were still used as medical texts 100 years ago. And today it was the turn of Gödel. He is more modern. A brilliant mathematician called David Hilbert and a whole team of brais were trying to prove that number theory (1+1=2 etc) was consistent. They were slaving away for 30 years when Gödel popped up and proved that they were wasting their time.

1) You cannot prove that there are no contradictions in number theory.

2) There are true statements about numbers that you can never prove are true.

Poor old Hilbert never published anything on the subject again. You can listen to the program here.

Gödel also discovered a rotating universe solution to Einstein's theory of general relativity where time travel is possible - let's hope the universe is rotating!

It all sounds very interesting, but I'm not sure I have a clue. But, mostly, I dislike Melvyn Bragg. Probaly put off then by the 1st 2 words!
Posted by: Paul | October 10, 2008 at 03:14 PM

Alice's wedding and photos

Hi everyone,

my feet have only just touched the ground after the wedding, the day was amazing and we went straight off on honeymoon the next day. I started law college the day after I got back from honeymoon in sri lanka (11 hours after I got back, actually), have also started a job with a law firm, and we are finally moving for definite on friday week.

I will be including some of the photographer's photos in everyone's thankyou letters, although you will have to wait a little while for those, as he is out of the country until friday.

In the mean time, he has posted a few of the pictures (although by no means all of them as he got through at least 3 memory cards on the day) on his website :

www.davidtett.com/Events [no longer exists, 2017]

For those of you who couldn't make it because of various plane, work, or broken-bone related incidents, bad luck, you missed a great party, but I hope to catch up with you soon

Love to all

Alice x