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An Imaginary Tale

Author : Paul J. Nahin
ISBN : 1400833892
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 54.23 MB
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Today complex numbers have such widespread practical use--from electrical engineering to aeronautics--that few people would expect the story behind their derivation to be filled with adventure and enigma. In An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin tells the 2000-year-old history of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one, also known as i. He recreates the baffling mathematical problems that conjured it up, and the colorful characters who tried to solve them. In 1878, when two brothers stole a mathematical papyrus from the ancient Egyptian burial site in the Valley of Kings, they led scholars to the earliest known occurrence of the square root of a negative number. The papyrus offered a specific numerical example of how to calculate the volume of a truncated square pyramid, which implied the need for i. In the first century, the mathematician-engineer Heron of Alexandria encountered I in a separate project, but fudged the arithmetic; medieval mathematicians stumbled upon the concept while grappling with the meaning of negative numbers, but dismissed their square roots as nonsense. By the time of Descartes, a theoretical use for these elusive square roots--now called "imaginary numbers"--was suspected, but efforts to solve them led to intense, bitter debates. The notorious i finally won acceptance and was put to use in complex analysis and theoretical physics in Napoleonic times. Addressing readers with both a general and scholarly interest in mathematics, Nahin weaves into this narrative entertaining historical facts and mathematical discussions, including the application of complex numbers and functions to important problems, such as Kepler's laws of planetary motion and ac electrical circuits. This book can be read as an engaging history, almost a biography, of one of the most evasive and pervasive "numbers" in all of mathematics. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
Category: Mathematics


Author : Timothy Gowers
ISBN : 3150187060
Genre :
File Size : 59.56 MB
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Fearless Symmetry

Author : Avner Ash
ISBN : 9780691138718
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 59.28 MB
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Mathematicians solve equations, or try to. But sometimes the solutions are not as interesting as the beautiful symmetric patterns that lead to them. Written in a friendly style for a general audience, Fearless Symmetry is the first popular math book to discuss these elegant and mysterious patterns and the ingenious techniques mathematicians use to uncover them. Hidden symmetries were first discovered nearly two hundred years ago by French mathematician évariste Galois. They have been used extensively in the oldest and largest branch of mathematics--number theory--for such diverse applications as acoustics, radar, and codes and ciphers. They have also been employed in the study of Fibonacci numbers and to attack well-known problems such as Fermat's Last Theorem, Pythagorean Triples, and the ever-elusive Riemann Hypothesis. Mathematicians are still devising techniques for teasing out these mysterious patterns, and their uses are limited only by the imagination. The first popular book to address representation theory and reciprocity laws, Fearless Symmetry focuses on how mathematicians solve equations and prove theorems. It discusses rules of math and why they are just as important as those in any games one might play. The book starts with basic properties of integers and permutations and reaches current research in number theory. Along the way, it takes delightful historical and philosophical digressions. Required reading for all math buffs, the book will appeal to anyone curious about popular mathematics and its myriad contributions to everyday life.
Category: Mathematics

Dr Euler S Fabulous Formula

Author : Paul J. Nahin
ISBN : 1400838479
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 60.30 MB
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In the mid-eighteenth century, Swiss-born mathematician Leonhard Euler developed a formula so innovative and complex that it continues to inspire research, discussion, and even the occasional limerick. Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula shares the fascinating story of this groundbreaking formula—long regarded as the gold standard for mathematical beauty—and shows why it still lies at the heart of complex number theory. In some ways a sequel to Nahin's An Imaginary Tale, this book examines the many applications of complex numbers alongside intriguing stories from the history of mathematics. Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula is accessible to any reader familiar with calculus and differential equations, and promises to inspire mathematicians for years to come.
Category: Mathematics

Eine Kurze Geschichte Der Menschheit

Author : Yuval Noah Harari
ISBN : 9783641104986
Genre : History
File Size : 38.14 MB
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Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.
Category: History


Author : Julian Havil
ISBN : 9783540484967
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 48.12 MB
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Jeder kennt p = 3,14159..., viele kennen e = 2,71828..., einige i. Und dann? Die "viertwichtigste" Konstante ist die Eulersche Zahl g = 0,5772156... - benannt nach dem genialen Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). Bis heute ist unbekannt, ob g eine rationale Zahl ist. Das Buch lotet die "obskure" Konstante aus. Die Reise beginnt mit Logarithmen und der harmonischen Reihe. Es folgen Zeta-Funktionen und Eulers wunderbare Identität, Bernoulli-Zahlen, Madelungsche Konstanten, Fettfinger in Wörterbüchern, elende mathematische Würmer und Jeeps in der Wüste. Besser kann man nicht über Mathematik schreiben. Was Julian Havil dazu zu sagen hat, ist spektakulär.
Category: Mathematics

Algebra In Context

Author : Amy Shell-Gellasch
ISBN : 9781421417288
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 52.40 MB
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This book’s unique approach to the teaching of mathematics lies in its use of history to provide a framework for understanding algebra and related fields. With Algebra in Context, students will soon discover why mathematics is such a crucial part not only of civilization but also of everyday life. Even those who have avoided mathematics for years will find the historical stories both inviting and gripping. The book’s lessons begin with the creation and spread of number systems, from the mathematical development of early civilizations in Babylonia, Greece, China, Rome, Egypt, and Central America to the advancement of mathematics over time and the roles of famous figures such as Descartes and Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci). Before long, it becomes clear that the simple origins of algebra evolved into modern problem solving. Along the way, the language of mathematics becomes familiar, and students are gradually introduced to more challenging problems. Paced perfectly, Amy Shell-Gellasch and J. B. Thoo’s chapters ease students from topic to topic until they reach the twenty-first century. By the end of Algebra in Context, students using this textbook will be comfortable with most algebra concepts, including • Different number bases • Algebraic notation • Methods of arithmetic calculation • Real numbers • Complex numbers • Divisors • Prime factorization • Variation • Factoring • Solving linear equations • False position • Solving quadratic equations • Solving cubic equations • nth roots • Set theory • One-to-one correspondence • Infinite sets • Figurate numbers • Logarithms • Exponential growth • Interest calculations
Category: Mathematics

Number Crunching

Author : Paul J. Nahin
ISBN : 1400839580
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 72.74 MB
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How do technicians repair broken communications cables at the bottom of the ocean without actually seeing them? What's the likelihood of plucking a needle out of a haystack the size of the Earth? And is it possible to use computers to create a universal library of everything ever written or every photo ever taken? These are just some of the intriguing questions that best-selling popular math writer Paul Nahin tackles in Number-Crunching. Through brilliant math ideas and entertaining stories, Nahin demonstrates how odd and unusual math problems can be solved by bringing together basic physics ideas and today's powerful computers. Some of the outcomes discussed are so counterintuitive they will leave readers astonished. Nahin looks at how the art of number-crunching has changed since the advent of computers, and how high-speed technology helps to solve fascinating conundrums such as the three-body, Monte Carlo, leapfrog, and gambler's ruin problems. Along the way, Nahin traverses topics that include algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, number theory, differential equations, Fourier series, electronics, and computers in science fiction. He gives historical background for the problems presented, offers many examples and numerous challenges, supplies MATLAB codes for all the theories discussed, and includes detailed and complete solutions. Exploring the intimate relationship between mathematics, physics, and the tremendous power of modern computers, Number-Crunching will appeal to anyone interested in understanding how these three important fields join forces to solve today's thorniest puzzles.
Category: Mathematics

The Science Of Radio

Author : Paul J. Nahin
ISBN : 0387951504
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 42.93 MB
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From the reviews: "... The notes and problems at the end of each chapter are very helpful. [...] In the final analysis, the book is definitely worth owning. [...] It is an extremely well written – but unusual – book that I highly recommend for all physicists." The Physics Teacher
Category: Technology & Engineering