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Stimulating account of development of mathematics from arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, to calculus, differential equations, and non-Euclidean geometries. Also describes how math is used in optics, astronomy, and other phenomena.

Author : Brian Clegg
ISBN : 9781466892965
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 88.93 MB
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Have you ever wondered what humans did before numbers existed? How they organized their lives, traded goods, or kept track of their treasures? What would your life be like without them? Numbers began as simple representations of everyday things, but mathematics rapidly took on a life of its own, occupying a parallel virtual world. In Are Numbers Real?, Brian Clegg explores the way that math has become more and more detached from reality, and yet despite this is driving the development of modern physics. From devising a new counting system based on goats, through the weird and wonderful mathematics of imaginary numbers and infinity, to the debate over whether mathematics has too much influence on the direction of science, this fascinating and accessible book opens the reader’s eyes to the hidden reality of the strange yet familiar entities that are numbers.

Author : Nicholas Manton
ISBN : 9780198795933
Genre : Science
File Size : 60.63 MB
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"It is over half a century since The Feynman lectures on physics were published. A new authoritative account of fundamental physics covering all branches of the subject is now well overdue. The physical world has been written to satisfy this need."--Back cover.

Mathematics and the Divine seem to correspond to diametrically opposed tendencies of the human mind. Does the mathematician not seek what is precisely defined, and do the objects intended by the mystic and the theologian not lie beyond definition? Is mathematics not Man's search for a measure, and isn’t the Divine that which is immeasurable ? The present book shows that the domains of mathematics and the Divine, which may seem so radically separated, have throughout history and across cultures, proved to be intimately related. Religious activities such as the building of temples, the telling of ritual stories or the drawing of enigmatic figures all display distinct mathematical features. Major philosophical systems dealing with the Absolute and theological speculations focussing on our knowledge of the Ultimate have been based on or inspired by mathematics. A series of chapters by an international team of experts highlighting key figures, schools and trains of thought is presented here. Chinese number mysticism, the views of Pythagoras and Plato and their followers, Nicholas of Cusa's theological geometry, Spinozism and intuitionism as a philosophy of mathematics are treated side by side among many other themes in an attempt at creating a global view on the relation of mathematics and Man’s quest for the Absolute in the course of history. · Mathematics and man's quest for the Absolute · A selective history highlighting key figures, schools and trains of thought · An international team of historians presenting specific new findings as well as general overviews · Confronting and uniting otherwise compartmentalized information

Author : Nicholas Maxwell
ISBN : 0742512266
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 77.6 MB
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This book tackles the problem of how we can understand our human world embedded in the physical universe in such a way that justice is done both to the richness, meaning and value of human life on the one hand, and what modern science tells us about the physical universe on the other hand. It includes discussion of consciousness, free will and evolution.

Author : Francis Bailly
ISBN : 9781908977793
Genre : Science
File Size : 64.21 MB
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This book identifies the organizing concepts of physical and biological phenomena by an analysis of the foundations of mathematics and physics. Our aim is to propose a dialog between different conceptual universes and thus to provide a unification of phenomena. The role of “order” and symmetries in the foundations of mathematics is linked to the main invariants and principles, among them the geodesic principle (a consequence of symmetries), which govern and confer unity to various physical theories. Moreover, an attempt is made to understand causal structures, a central element of physical intelligibility, in terms of both symmetries and symmetry breakings. A distinction between the principles of (conceptual) construction and of proofs, both in physics and in mathematics, guides most of the work. The importance of mathematical tools is also highlighted to clarify differences in the models for physics and biology that are proposed by continuous and discrete mathematics, such as computational simulations. Since biology is particularly complex and not as well understood at a theoretical level, we propose a “unification by concepts” which in any case should precede mathematization. This constitutes an outline for unification also based on highlighting conceptual differences, complex points of passage and technical irreducibilities of one field to another. Indeed, we suppose here a very common monist point of view, namely the view that living objects are “big bags of molecules”. The main question though is to understand which “theory” can help better understand these bags of molecules. They are, indeed, rather “singular”, from the physical point of view. Technically, we express this singularity through the concept of “extended criticality”, which provides a logical extension of the critical transitions that are known in physics. The presentation is mostly kept at an informal and conceptual level. Contents:Mathematical Concepts and Physical ObjectsIncompleteness and Indetermination in Mathematics and PhysicsSpace and Time from Physics to BiologyInvariances, Symmetries, and Symmetry BreakingsCauses and Symmetries: The Continuum and the Discrete in Mathematical ModelingExtended Criticality: The Physical Singularity of Life PhenomenaRandomness and Determination in the Interplay between the Continuum and the DiscreteConclusion: Unification and Separation of Theories, or the Importance of Negative Results Readership: Graduate students and professionals in the fields of natural sciences, biology, computer science, mathematics, and physics. Keywords:Foundations of Mathematics and of Physics;Epistemology;Theoretical BiologyKey Features:This book is an epistemological reflection carried out by two working scientists, a physicist and a mathematician, who focus on biology. They first address a comparative analysis of the founding principles of their own disciplines. On the grounds of a three-fold blend, they then introduce a unique proposal, which does not passively transfer the paradigms of the first two theoretically well-established disciplines, to suggest a novel theoretical framework for the third discipline

Author : Ernest Zebrowski
ISBN : 0813528984
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 74.80 MB
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Ranging from ancient times to twentieth-century theories of time and space, looks at how exploring the circle has lead to increased knowledge about the physical universe.

Author : Dean L. Overman
ISBN : 0742511677
Genre : Religion
File Size : 76.66 MB
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In this illuminating book, Dean L. Overman uses logical principles and mathematical calculations to answer intriguing questions that have long perplexed biologists and astrophysicists.