Fermat's Last Theorem

Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)

ISBN: 9781568583600

Category: Mathematics

Page: 147

View: 1829

Simple, elegant, and utterly impossible to prove, Fermat's last theorem captured the imaginations of mathematicians for more than three centuries. For some, it became a wonderful passion. For others it was an obsession that led to deceit, intrigue, or insanity. In a volume filled with the clues, red herrings, and suspense of a mystery novel, Amir D. Aczel reveals the previously untold story of the people, the history, and the cultures that lie behind this scientific triumph. From formulas devised from the farmers of ancient Babylonia to the dramatic proof of Fermat's theorem in 1993, this extraordinary work takes us along on an exhilarating intellectual treasure hunt. Revealing the hidden mathematical order of the natural world in everything from stars to sunflowers, Fermat's Last Theorem brilliantly combines philosophy and hard science with investigative journalism. The result: a real-life detective story of the intellect, at once intriguing, thought-provoking, and impossible to put down.

Descartes' Secret Notebook

A True Tale of Mathematics, Mysticism, and the Quest to Understand the Universe

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Broadway

ISBN: 0767920341

Category: Mathematics

Page: 273

View: 9620

A portrait of the seventeenth-century philosopher and mathematician looks at his interest in mysticism and probable membership in the occult brotherhood of Rosicrucians, and his secret notebook, which he kept in code, attempting to redecipher the contents of the long-lost volume.

Finding Zero

A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466879106

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 3759

The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got these numerals, which we so depend on, has for thousands of years been shrouded in mystery. Finding Zero is an adventure filled saga of Amir Aczel's lifelong obsession: to find the original sources of our numerals. Aczel has doggedly crisscrossed the ancient world, scouring dusty, moldy texts, cross examining so-called scholars who offered wildly differing sets of facts, and ultimately penetrating deep into a Cambodian jungle to find a definitive proof. Here, he takes the reader along for the ride. The history begins with the early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest zero—the keystone of our entire system of numbers—on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. While on this odyssey, Aczel meets a host of fascinating characters: academics in search of truth, jungle trekkers looking for adventure, surprisingly honest politicians, shameless smugglers, and treacherous archaeological thieves—who finally reveal where our numbers come from.

Fermat’s Last Theorem

Author: Simon Singh

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007381999

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 319

‘I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.’

The Artist and the Mathematician

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786732881

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 2548

Nicolas Bourbaki, whose mathematical publications began to appear in the late 1930s and continued to be published through most of the twentieth century, was a direct product as well as a major force behind an important revolution that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century that completely changed Western culture. Pure mathematics, the area of Bourbaki's work, seems on the surface to be an abstract field of human study with no direct connection with the real world. In reality, however, it is closely intertwined with the general culture that surrounds it. Major developments in mathematics have often followed important trends in popular culture; developments in mathematics have acted as harbingers of change in the surrounding human culture. The seeds of change, the beginnings of the revolution that swept the Western world in the early decades of the twentieth century — both in mathematics and in other areas — were sown late in the previous century. This is the story both of Bourbaki and the world that created him in that time. It is the story of an elaborate intellectual joke — because Bourbaki, one of the foremost mathematicians of his day — never existed.

The Last Theorem

Author: Arthur C. Clarke,Frederik Pohl

Publisher: Del Rey

ISBN: 0345509684

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 4944

Two of science fiction’s most renowned writers join forces for a storytelling sensation. The historic collaboration between Frederik Pohl and his fellow founding father of the genre, Arthur C. Clarke, is both a momentous literary event and a fittingly grand farewell from the late, great visionary author of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Last Theorem is a story of one man’s mathematical obsession, and a celebration of the human spirit and the scientific method. It is also a gripping intellectual thriller in which humanity, facing extermination from all-but-omnipotent aliens, the Grand Galactics, must overcome differences of politics and religion and come together . . . or perish. In 1637, the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat scrawled a note in the margin of a book about an enigmatic theorem: “I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.” He also neglected to record his proof elsewhere. Thus began a search for the Holy Grail of mathematics–a search that didn’t end until 1994, when Andrew Wiles published a 150-page proof. But the proof was burdensome, overlong, and utilized mathematical techniques undreamed of in Fermat’s time, and so it left many critics unsatisfied–including young Ranjit Subramanian, a Sri Lankan with a special gift for mathematics and a passion for the famous “Last Theorem.” When Ranjit writes a three-page proof of the theorem that relies exclusively on knowledge available to Fermat, his achievement is hailed as a work of genius, bringing him fame and fortune. But it also brings him to the attention of the National Security Agency and a shadowy United Nations outfit called Pax per Fidem, or Peace Through Transparency, whose secretive workings belie its name. Suddenly Ranjit–together with his wife, Myra de Soyza, an expert in artificial intelligence, and their burgeoning family–finds himself swept up in world-shaking events, his genius for abstract mathematical thought put to uses that are both concrete and potentially deadly. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone on Earth, an alien fleet is approaching the planet at a significant percentage of the speed of light. Their mission: to exterminate the dangerous species of primates known as homo sapiens. From the Hardcover edition.

Wind Wizard

Alan G. Davenport and the Art of Wind Engineering

Author: Siobhan Roberts

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400844703

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 288

View: 4033

With Wind Wizard, Siobhan Roberts brings us the story of Alan Davenport (1932-2009), the father of modern wind engineering, who investigated how wind navigates the obstacle course of the earth's natural and built environments--and how, when not properly heeded, wind causes buildings and bridges to teeter unduly, sway with abandon, and even collapse. In 1964, Davenport received a confidential telephone call from two engineers requesting tests on a pair of towers that promised to be the tallest in the world. His resulting wind studies on New York's World Trade Center advanced the art and science of wind engineering with one pioneering innovation after another. Establishing the first dedicated "boundary layer" wind tunnel laboratory for civil engineering structures, Davenport enabled the study of the atmospheric region from the earth's surface to three thousand feet, where the air churns with turbulent eddies, the average wind speed increasing with height. The boundary layer wind tunnel mimics these windy marbled striations in order to test models of buildings and bridges that inevitably face the wind when built. Over the years, Davenport's revolutionary lab investigated and improved the wind-worthiness of the world's greatest structures, including the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Tower, Shanghai's World Financial Center, the CN Tower, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the Sunshine Skyway, and the proposed crossing for the Strait of Messina, linking Sicily with mainland Italy. Chronicling Davenport's innovations by analyzing select projects, this popular-science book gives an illuminating behind-the-scenes view into the practice of wind engineering, and insight into Davenport's steadfast belief that there is neither a structure too tall nor too long, as long as it is supported by sound wind science. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

The Mystery of the Aleph

Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743422996

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 8961

Journeys into the work of Georg Cantor, a Russian-born German mathematician, who developed set theory and the concept of infinite numbers, but was condemned by his peers and spent many years in an asylum.

God's Equation

Einstein, Relativity, and the Expanding Universe

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Delta

ISBN: 9780385334853

Category: Science

Page: 236

View: 5350

Using Einstein's theories to explain the most recent contributions of cosmology, the author celebrates the great physicist through his research and personal correspondence, arguing that his work stands at the center of the search for the origins of the universe.


A Guide to Gambling, Love, the Stock Market and Just about Everything Else

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: High Stakes

ISBN: 9781843440253

Category: Chance

Page: 192

View: 8540

Celebrated mathematician Amir D Aczel sets his sights on the probability theory - the branch of mathematics that measures the likelihood of a random event. What is commonly called 'luck' has mathematical roots - and in Aczel's capable hands readers learn to increase their odds of success in everything from true love to the stock market.

Journey through genius

the great theorems of mathematics

Author: William Dunham

Publisher: Egully.com


Category: Mathematics

Page: 300

View: 8178

A rare combination of the historical, biographical, and mathematicalgenius, this book is a fascinating introduction to a neglected field of human creativity. Dunham places mathematical theorem, along with masterpieces of art, music, and literature and gives them the attention they deserve.

Why Science Does Not Disprove God

Author: Amir Aczel

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062230611

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 2398

The renowned science writer, mathematician, and bestselling author of Fermat's Last Theorem masterfully refutes the overreaching claims the "New Atheists," providing millions of educated believers with a clear, engaging explanation of what science really says, how there's still much space for the Divine in the universe, and why faith in both God and empirical science are not mutually exclusive. A highly publicized coterie of scientists and thinkers, including Richard Dawkins, the late Christopher Hitchens, and Lawrence Krauss, have vehemently contended that breakthroughs in modern science have disproven the existence of God, asserting that we must accept that the creation of the universe came out of nothing, that religion is evil, that evolution fully explains the dazzling complexity of life, and more. In this much-needed book, science journalist Amir Aczel profoundly disagrees and conclusively demonstrates that science has not, as yet, provided any definitive proof refuting the existence of God. Why Science Does Not Disprove God is his brilliant and incisive analyses of the theories and findings of such titans as Albert Einstein, Roger Penrose, Alan Guth, and Charles Darwin, all of whose major breakthroughs leave open the possibility— and even the strong likelihood—of a Creator. Bolstering his argument, Aczel lucidly discourses on arcane aspects of physics to reveal how quantum theory, the anthropic principle, the fine-tuned dance of protons and quarks, the existence of anti-matter and the theory of parallel universes, also fail to disprove God.

Excursions in the History of Mathematics

Author: Israel Kleiner

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 0817682686

Category: Mathematics

Page: 347

View: 2434

This book comprises five parts. The first three contain ten historical essays on important topics: number theory, calculus/analysis, and proof, respectively. Part four deals with several historically oriented courses, and Part five provides biographies of five mathematicians who played major roles in the historical events described in the first four parts of the work. Excursions in the History of Mathematics was written with several goals in mind: to arouse mathematics teachers’ interest in the history of their subject; to encourage mathematics teachers with at least some knowledge of the history of mathematics to offer courses with a strong historical component; and to provide an historical perspective on a number of basic topics taught in mathematics courses.

Probability 1

Author: Amir D. Aczel, Ph.D.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 054434166X

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 1037

For thousands of years, it was the visionaries and writers who argued that we cannot be alone-that there is intellegent life in the universe. Now, with the discoveries of the Hubble Telescope, data emerging from Mars, and knowledge about life at the extremes, scientists are taking up where they left off. Amir Aczel, author of Fermat's Last Theorem, pulls together everyting science has discovered, and mixes in proabability theory, to argure the case for the existence of intelligent life beyond this planet. Probability 1 is an extraordinary tour de force in which the author draws on cosmology, math, and biology to tell the rollicking good story of scientists tackling important scientific questions that help answer this fundamental question. What is the probability of intelligent life in the universe? Read this book, and you'll be convinced, by the power of the argument and the excitement of the science.

Count Down

Six Kids Vie for Glory at the World's Toughest Math Competition

Author: Steve Olson

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618562121

Category: Education

Page: 244

View: 7529

Follows six American high school students on the quest for glory in the Olympics of math competitions--The International Mathematical Olympiad.

Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

Author: Ian Stewart

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847651283

Category: Mathematics

Page: 320

View: 1242

School maths is not the interesting part. The real fun is elsewhere. Like a magpie, Ian Stewart has collected the most enlightening, entertaining and vexing 'curiosities' of maths over the years... Now, the private collection is displayed in his cabinet. There are some hidden gems of logic, geometry and probability -- like how to extract a cherry from a cocktail glass (harder than you think), a pop up dodecahedron, the real reason why you can't divide anything by zero and some tips for making money by proving the obvious. Scattered among these are keys to unlocking the mysteries of Fermat's last theorem, the Poincar Conjecture, chaos theory, and the P/NP problem for which a million dollar prize is on offer. There are beguiling secrets about familiar names like Pythagoras or prime numbers, as well as anecdotes about great mathematicians. Pull out the drawers of the Professor's cabinet and who knows what could happen...

My Search for Ramanujan

How I Learned to Count

Author: Ken Ono,Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319255681

Category: Mathematics

Page: 238

View: 1959

"The son of a prominent Japanese mathematician who came to the United States after World War II, Ken Ono was raised on a diet of high expectations and little praise. Rebelling against his pressure-cooker of a life, Ken determined to drop out of high school to follow his own path. To obtain his father’s approval, he invoked the biography of the famous Indian mathematical prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan, whom his father revered, who had twice flunked out of college because of his single-minded devotion to mathematics. Ono describes his rocky path through college and graduate school, interweaving Ramanujan’s story with his own and telling how at key moments, he was inspired by Ramanujan and guided by mentors who encouraged him to pursue his interest in exploring Ramanujan’s mathematical legacy. Picking up where others left off, beginning with the great English mathematician G.H. Hardy, who brought Ramanujan to Cambridge in 1914, Ono has devoted his mathematical career to understanding how in his short life, Ramanujan was able to discover so many deep mathematical truths, which Ramanujan believed had been sent to him as visions from a Hindu goddess. And it was Ramanujan who was ultimately the source of reconciliation between Ono and his parents. Ono’s search for Ramanujan ranges over three continents and crosses paths with mathematicians whose lives span the globe and the entire twentieth century and beyond. Along the way, Ken made many fascinating discoveries. The most important and surprising one of all was his own humanity."

The Wild Numbers

Author: Philibert Schogt

Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press

ISBN: 9781568581668

Category: Fiction

Page: 159

View: 3669

When a mediocre mathematician solves a puzzle that has vexed savants for centuries, his moment of glory is spoiled by accusations that the solution did not originate with him. Original.

The Mathematics of Life

Author: Ian Stewart

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465024408

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 9524

Biologists have long dismissed mathematics as being unable to meaningfully contribute to our understanding of living beings. Within the past ten years, however, mathematicians have proven that they hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of our world--and ourselves. In The Mathematics of Life, Ian Stewart provides a fascinating overview of the vital but little-recognized role mathematics has played in pulling back the curtain on the hidden complexities of the natural world--and how its contribution will be even more vital in the years ahead. In his characteristically clear and entertaining fashion, Stewart explains how mathematicians and biologists have come to work together on some of the most difficult scientific problems that the human race has ever tackled, including the nature and origin of life itself.

A Most Elegant Equation

Euler's Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics

Author: David Stipp

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465093787

Category: Mathematics

Page: 240

View: 2340

An award-winning science writer introduces us to mathematics using the extraordinary equation that unites five of mathematics' most important numbers Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry." This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections. It ties together everything from basic arithmetic to compound interest, the circumference of a circle, trigonometry, calculus, and even infinity. In David Stipp's hands, Euler's identity formula becomes a contemplative stroll through the glories of mathematics. The result is an ode to this magical field.