The Pythagorean Theorem

A 4,000-Year History

Author: Eli Maor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691148236

Category: Mathematics

Page: 280

View: 7641

The author presents a complex history of the Pythagorean Theorem, examining the earliest evidence of knowledge of the theorem to Einstein's theory of relativity.
Posted in Mathematics

Beautiful Geometry

Author: Eli Maor,Eugen Jost

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400848334

Category: Mathematics

Page: 208

View: 9455

If you've ever thought that mathematics and art don't mix, this stunning visual history of geometry will change your mind. As much a work of art as a book about mathematics, Beautiful Geometry presents more than sixty exquisite color plates illustrating a wide range of geometric patterns and theorems, accompanied by brief accounts of the fascinating history and people behind each. With artwork by Swiss artist Eugen Jost and text by math historian Eli Maor, this unique celebration of geometry covers numerous subjects, from straightedge-and-compass constructions to intriguing configurations involving infinity. The result is a delightful and informative illustrated tour through the 2,500-year-old history of one of the most important branches of mathematics.
Posted in Mathematics

Music by the Numbers

From Pythagoras to Schoenberg

Author: Eli Maor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889898

Category: Mathematics

Page: 176

View: 6146

How music has influenced mathematics, physics, and astronomy from ancient Greece to the twentieth century Music is filled with mathematical elements, the works of Bach are often said to possess a math-like logic, and Igor Stravinsky said "musical form is close to mathematics," while Arnold Schoenberg, Iannis Xenakis, and Karlheinz Stockhausen went further, writing music explicitly based on mathematical principles. Yet Eli Maor argues that music has influenced math at least as much as math has influenced music. Starting with Pythagoras, proceeding through the work of Schoenberg, and ending with contemporary string theory, Music by the Numbers tells a fascinating story of composers, scientists, inventors, and eccentrics who played a role in the age-old relationship between music, mathematics, and the sciences, especially physics and astronomy. Music by the Numbers explores key moments in this history, particularly how problems originating in music have inspired mathematicians for centuries. Perhaps the most famous of these problems is the vibrating string, which pitted some of the greatest mathematicians of the eighteenth century against each other in a debate that lasted more than fifty years and that eventually led to the development of post-calculus mathematics. Other highlights in the book include a comparison between meter in music and metric in geometry, complete with examples of rhythmic patterns from Bach to Stravinsky, and an exploration of a suggestive twentieth-century development: the nearly simultaneous emergence of Einstein's theory of relativity and Schoenberg's twelve-tone system. Weaving these compelling historical episodes with Maor's personal reflections as a mathematician and lover of classical music, Music by the Numbers will delight anyone who loves mathematics and music.
Posted in Mathematics

Pythagorean Triangles

Author: Waclaw Sierpinski

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486174832

Category: Mathematics

Page: 128

View: 9417

This classic text, written by a distinguished mathematician and teacher, focuses on a fundamental theory of geometry. Topics include all types of Pythagorean triangles.
Posted in Mathematics

A Certain Ambiguity

A Mathematical Novel

Author: Gaurav Suri,Hartosh Singh Bal

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400834778

Category: Fiction

Page: 296

View: 2732

While taking a class on infinity at Stanford in the late 1980s, Ravi Kapoor discovers that he is confronting the same mathematical and philosophical dilemmas that his mathematician grandfather had faced many decades earlier--and that had landed him in jail. Charged under an obscure blasphemy law in a small New Jersey town in 1919, Vijay Sahni is challenged by a skeptical judge to defend his belief that the certainty of mathematics can be extended to all human knowledge--including religion. Together, the two men discover the power--and the fallibility--of what has long been considered the pinnacle of human certainty, Euclidean geometry. As grandfather and grandson struggle with the question of whether there can ever be absolute certainty in mathematics or life, they are forced to reconsider their fundamental beliefs and choices. Their stories hinge on their explorations of parallel developments in the study of geometry and infinity--and the mathematics throughout is as rigorous and fascinating as the narrative and characters are compelling and complex. Moving and enlightening, A Certain Ambiguity is a story about what it means to face the extent--and the limits--of human knowledge.
Posted in Fiction

To Infinity and Beyond

A Cultural History of the Infinite - New Edition

Author: Eli Maor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691178119

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 5990

To Infinity and Beyond explores the idea of infinity in mathematics and art. Eli Maor examines the role of infinity, as well as its cultural impact on the arts and sciences. He evokes the profound intellectual impact the infinite has exercised on the human mind--from the "horror infiniti" of the Greeks to the works of M. C. Escher; from the ornamental designs of the Moslems, to the sage Giordano Bruno, whose belief in an infinite universe led to his death at the hands of the Inquisition. But above all, the book describes the mathematician's fascination with infinity--a fascination mingled with puzzlement.
Posted in Mathematics

"e:" The Story of a Number

The Story of a Number

Author: Eli Maor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400832349

Category: Mathematics

Page: 248

View: 3778

The interest earned on a bank account, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis are all intimately connected with the mysterious number e. In this informal and engaging history, Eli Maor portrays the curious characters and the elegant mathematics that lie behind the number. Designed for a reader with only a modest mathematical background, this biography brings out the central importance of e to mathematics and illuminates a golden era in the age of science.
Posted in Mathematics

Sacred Mathematics

Japanese Temple Geometry

Author: Hidetoshi Fukagawa,Tony Rothman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691127453

Category: Art

Page: 348

View: 6247

"An enchanting history of Japanese geometry--of a time and place where 'geometers did not cede place to poets.' This intersection of science and culture, of the mathematical, the artistic, and the spiritual, is packed, like circles within circles, with rewarding Aha! epiphanies that drive a mathematician's curiosity."--Siobhan Roberts, author of "King of Infinite Space" "Teachers will welcome this remarkable collection of mathematical problems, history, and art, which will enrich their curriculum and promote both logical thinking and critical evaluation. It is especially important that we maintain an interest in geometry, which needs, and for once gets, more than its share."--Richard Guy, coauthor of "The Book of Numbers" "This remarkable book provides a novel insight into the Japanese mathematics of the past few hundred years. It is fascinating to see the difference in mathematical style from that which we are used to in the Western world, but the book also elegantly illustrates the cross-cultural Platonic nature and profound beauty of mathematics itself."--Roger Penrose, author of "The Road to Reality" "A significant contribution to the history of mathematics. The wealth of mathematical problems--from the very simple to quite complex ones--will keep the interested reader busy for years. And the beautiful illustrations make this book a work of art as much as of science. Destined to become a classic!"--Eli Maor, author of "The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History" "A pleasure to read. "Sacred Mathematics" brings to light the unique style and character of geometry in the traditional Japanese sources--in particular the "sangaku" problems. These problems range from trivial to utterly devilish. I found myself captivated by them, and regularly astounded by the ingenuity and sophistication of many of the traditional solutions."--Glen Van Brummelen, coeditor of "Mathematics and the Historian's Craft"
Posted in Art

Trigonometric Delights

Author: Eli Maor

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400846757

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 8252

Trigonometry has always been an underappreciated branch of mathematics. It has a reputation as a dry and difficult subject, a glorified form of geometry complicated by tedious computation. In this book, Eli Maor draws on his remarkable talents as a guide to the world of numbers to dispel that view. Rejecting the usual arid descriptions of sine, cosine, and their trigonometric relatives, he brings the subject to life in a compelling blend of history, biography, and mathematics. He presents both a survey of the main elements of trigonometry and a unique account of its vital contribution to science and social development. Woven together in a tapestry of entertaining stories, scientific curiosities, and educational insights, the book more than lives up to the title Trigonometric Delights. ? Maor, whose previous books have demystified the concept of infinity and the unusual number "e," begins by examining the "proto-trigonometry" of the Egyptian pyramid builders. He shows how Greek astronomers developed the first true trigonometry. He traces the slow emergence of modern, analytical trigonometry, recounting its colorful origins in Renaissance Europe's quest for more accurate artillery, more precise clocks, and more pleasing musical instruments. Along the way, we see trigonometry at work in, for example, the struggle of the famous mapmaker Gerardus Mercator to represent the curved earth on a flat sheet of paper; we see how M. C. Escher used geometric progressions in his art; and we learn how the toy Spirograph uses epicycles and hypocycles. Maor also sketches the lives of some of the intriguing figures who have shaped four thousand years of trigonometric history. We meet, for instance, the Renaissance scholar Regiomontanus, who is rumored to have been poisoned for insulting a colleague, and Maria Agnesi, an eighteenth-century Italian genius who gave up mathematics to work with the poor--but not before she investigated a special curve that, due to mistranslation, bears the unfortunate name "the witch of Agnesi." The book is richly illustrated, including rare prints from the author's own collection. Trigonometric Delights will change forever our view of a once dreaded subject.
Posted in Mathematics

A Dingo Ate My Math Book: Mathematics from Down Under

Author: Burkard Polster,Marty Ross

Publisher: American Mathematical Soc.

ISBN: 1470435217

Category: Mathematics

Page: 253

View: 5002

A Dingo Ate My Math Book presents ingenious, unusual, and beautiful nuggets of mathematics with a distinctly Australian flavor. It focuses, for example, on Australians' love of sports and gambling, and on Melbourne's iconic, mathematically inspired architecture. Written in a playful and humorous style, the book offers mathematical entertainment as well as a glimpse of Australian culture for the mathematically curious of all ages. This collection of engaging stories was extracted from the Maths Masters column that ran from 2007 to 2014 in Australia's Age newspaper. The maths masters in question are Burkard Polster and Marty Ross, two (immigrant) Aussie mathematicians, who each week would write about math in the news, providing a new look at old favorites, mathematical history, quirks of school mathematics—whatever took their fancy. All articles were written for a very general audience, with the intention of being as inviting as possible and assuming a minimum of mathematical background.
Posted in Mathematics

Euler's Gem

The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology

Author: David S. Richeson

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691154570

Category: Mathematics

Page: 317

View: 2360

Leonhard Euler's polyhedron formula describes the structure of many objects--from soccer balls and gemstones to Buckminster Fuller's buildings and giant all-carbon molecules. Yet Euler's formula is so simple it can be explained to a child. Euler's Gem tells the illuminating story of this indispensable mathematical idea. From ancient Greek geometry to today's cutting-edge research, Euler's Gem celebrates the discovery of Euler's beloved polyhedron formula and its far-reaching impact on topology, the study of shapes. In 1750, Euler observed that any polyhedron composed of V vertices, E edges, and F faces satisfies the equation V-E+F=2. David Richeson tells how the Greeks missed the formula entirely; how Descartes almost discovered it but fell short; how nineteenth-century mathematicians widened the formula's scope in ways that Euler never envisioned by adapting it for use with doughnut shapes, smooth surfaces, and higher dimensional shapes; and how twentieth-century mathematicians discovered that every shape has its own Euler's formula. Using wonderful examples and numerous illustrations, Richeson presents the formula's many elegant and unexpected applications, such as showing why there is always some windless spot on earth, how to measure the acreage of a tree farm by counting trees, and how many crayons are needed to color any map. Filled with a who's who of brilliant mathematicians who questioned, refined, and contributed to a remarkable theorem's development, Euler's Gem will fascinate every mathematics enthusiast.
Posted in Mathematics

The Metaphysics of the Pythagorean Theorem

Thales, Pythagoras, Engineering, Diagrams, and the Construction of the Cosmos out of Right Triangles

Author: Robert Hahn

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438464916

Category: Philosophy

Page: 300

View: 7852

Explores Thales’s speculative philosophy through a study of geometrical diagrams. Bringing together geometry and philosophy, this book undertakes a strikingly original study of the origins and significance of the Pythagorean theorem. Thales, whom Aristotle called the first philosopher and who was an older contemporary of Pythagoras, posited the principle of a unity from which all things come, and back into which they return upon dissolution. He held that all appearances are only alterations of this basic unity and there can be no change in the cosmos. Such an account requires some fundamental geometric figure out of which appearances are structured. Robert Hahn argues that Thales came to the conclusion that it was the right triangle: by recombination and repackaging, all alterations can be explained from that figure. This idea is central to what the discovery of the Pythagorean theorem could have meant to Thales and Pythagoras in the sixth century BCE. With more than two hundred illustrations and figures, Hahn provides a series of geometric proofs for this lost narrative, tracing it from Thales to Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans who followed, and then finally to Plato’s Timaeus. Uncovering the philosophical motivation behind the discovery of the theorem, Hahn’s book will enrich the study of ancient philosophy and mathematics alike.
Posted in Philosophy

Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula

Cures Many Mathematical Ills

Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400838479

Category: Mathematics

Page: 416

View: 5104

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.
Posted in Mathematics

STEMathematics: Exercises in Applied Computation and Modeling (Volume 1)

Author: Elliott Ostler

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 0996674101

Category:

Page: 390

View: 5832

STEMathematics is an instructional resource designed primarily for secondary level mathematics teachers and students interested in discovering how mathematics describes (and is applied to) our natural world. This resource provides both the historical elements and the technical aspects of various topics in mathematics that provide instructional context in the sciences, technology, and engineering, (STEM) disciplines. The purpose of STEMathematics is to help teachers become more personally interested in the topics they teach and to gain a broader perspective of how mathematics can be integrated with other subject disciplines.
Posted in

The Crest of the Peacock

Non-European Roots of Mathematics (Third Edition)

Author: George Gheverghese Joseph

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691135267

Category: Mathematics

Page: 561

View: 8357

"Enthralling ... After reading it, we cannot see the past in the same comforting haze of age-old stories, faithfully and uncritically retold from teacher to pupil down the years ... Invaluable for mathematics teachers at all levels."--New Scientist.
Posted in Mathematics

The Exact Sciences in Antiquity

Author: Otto Neugebauer

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 9780486223322

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 5184

Based on a series of lectures delivered at Cornell University in the fall of 1949, and since revised, this is the standard non-technical coverage of Egyptian and Babylonian mathematics and astronomy, and their transmission to the Hellenistic world. Entirely modern in its data and conclusions, it reveals the surprising sophistication of certain areas of early science, particularly Babylonian mathematics. After a discussion of the number systems used in the ancient Near East (contrasting the Egyptian method of additive computations with unit fractions and Babylonian place values), Dr. Neugebauer covers Babylonian tables for numerical computation, approximations of the square root of 2 (with implications that the Pythagorean Theorem was known more than a thousand years before Pythagoras), Pythagorean numbers, quadratic equations with two unknowns, special cases of logarithms and various other algebraic and geometric cases. Babylonian strength in algebraic and numerical work reveals a level of mathematical development in many aspects comparable to the mathematics of the early Renaissance in Europe. This is in contrast to the relatively primitive Egyptian mathematics. In the realm of astronomy, too, Dr. Neugebauer describes an unexpected sophistication, which is interpreted less as the result of millennia of observations (as used to be the interpretation) than as a competent mathematical apparatus. The transmission of this early science and its further development in Hellenistic times is also described. An Appendix discusses certain aspects of Greek astronomy and the indebtedness of the Copernican system to Ptolemaic and Islamic methods. Dr. Neugebauer has long enjoyed an international reputation as one of the foremost workers in the area of premodern science. Many of his discoveries have revolutionized earlier understandings. In this volume he presents a non-technical survey, with much material unique on this level, which can be read with great profit by all interested in the history of science or history of culture. 14 plates. 52 figures.
Posted in Science

Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell

Author: A. Zee

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400847451

Category: Science

Page: 888

View: 4036

This unique textbook provides an accessible introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity, a subject of breathtaking beauty and supreme importance in physics. With his trademark blend of wit and incisiveness, A. Zee guides readers from the fundamentals of Newtonian mechanics to the most exciting frontiers of research today, including de Sitter and anti-de Sitter spacetimes, Kaluza-Klein theory, and brane worlds. Unlike other books on Einstein gravity, this book emphasizes the action principle and group theory as guides in constructing physical theories. Zee treats various topics in a spiral style that is easy on beginners, and includes anecdotes from the history of physics that will appeal to students and experts alike. He takes a friendly approach to the required mathematics, yet does not shy away from more advanced mathematical topics such as differential forms. The extensive discussion of black holes includes rotating and extremal black holes and Hawking radiation. The ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate students, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell also provides an essential resource for professional physicists and is accessible to anyone familiar with classical mechanics and electromagnetism. It features numerous exercises as well as detailed appendices covering a multitude of topics not readily found elsewhere. Provides an accessible introduction to Einstein's general theory of relativity Guides readers from Newtonian mechanics to the frontiers of modern research Emphasizes symmetry and the Einstein-Hilbert action Covers topics not found in standard textbooks on Einstein gravity Includes interesting historical asides Features numerous exercises and detailed appendices Ideal for students, physicists, and scientifically minded lay readers Solutions manual (available only to teachers)
Posted in Science

Introduction to Ramsey Spaces (AM-174)

Author: Stevo Todorcevic

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400835409

Category: Mathematics

Page: 296

View: 6752

Ramsey theory is a fast-growing area of combinatorics with deep connections to other fields of mathematics such as topological dynamics, ergodic theory, mathematical logic, and algebra. The area of Ramsey theory dealing with Ramsey-type phenomena in higher dimensions is particularly useful. Introduction to Ramsey Spaces presents in a systematic way a method for building higher-dimensional Ramsey spaces from basic one-dimensional principles. It is the first book-length treatment of this area of Ramsey theory, and emphasizes applications for related and surrounding fields of mathematics, such as set theory, combinatorics, real and functional analysis, and topology. In order to facilitate accessibility, the book gives the method in its axiomatic form with examples that cover many important parts of Ramsey theory both finite and infinite. An exciting new direction for combinatorics, this book will interest graduate students and researchers working in mathematical subdisciplines requiring the mastery and practice of high-dimensional Ramsey theory.
Posted in Mathematics

An Imaginary Tale

The Story of √-1

Author: Paul J. Nahin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400833894

Category: Mathematics

Page: 296

View: 909

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.
Posted in Mathematics