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Continue reading...It took until the last century for physicists and mathematicians in the Netherlands to question the Euclidean concept of dimension as length, width, and height. Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer published a ground-breaking paperOn the Natural Concept of Dimension(Amsterdam, [2]) in 1913 about the mathematical definition of dimension picking up a thought from Poincaré, and Tatjana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa published a paperThe Concept of Dimension and the Analytical Construction of Physical Equations(Leiden, [3]) in 1916 about the physical meaning of dimensions in which she approached the problem by logical methods. Brouwer worked in the new field of topology, and Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa in statistical mechanics and for Klein's Encyclopedia of Mathematical Sciences (1898-1935). This article is meant to summarize the many aspects behind the concept of dimension in various fields.

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