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The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything
John C Baez, Univeristy of California, Riverside
In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the number 42 was revealed to be the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything". But he didn't say what the question was! John Baez will reveal that here. In fact it is a simple geometry question, which then turns out to be related to the mathematics underlying string theory.