There is a nineteen-year recurrence in the apparent position of the sun and moon against the background of the stars, a pattern observed long ago by the Babylonians. In the course of those nineteen years the Earth experiences 235 lunar cycles. Suppose we calculate the ratio of Earth's period about the sun to the moon's period about Earth. That ratio has 235/19 as one of its early continued fraction convergents, which explains the apparent periodicity. Exploring Continued Fractions explains this and other recurrent phenomena—astronomical transits and conjunctions, lifecycles of cicadas, eclipses—by way of continued fraction expansions. The deeper purpose is to find patterns, solve puzzles, and discover some appealing number theory. The reader will explore several algorithms for computing continued fractions, including some new to the literature. He or she will also explore the surprisingly large portion of number theory connected to continued fractions: Pythagorean triples, Diophantine equations, the Stern-Brocot tree, and a number of combinatorial sequences. The book features a pleasantly discursive style with excursions into music (The Well-Tempered Clavier), history (the Ishango bone and Plimpton 322), classics (the shape of More's Utopia) and whimsy (dropping a black hole on Earth's surface). Andy Simoson has won both the Chauvenet Prize and Pólya Award for expository writing from the MAA and his Voltaire's Riddle was a Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title. This book is an enjoyable ramble through some beautiful mathematics. For most of the journey the only necessary prerequisites are a minimal familiarity with mathematical reasoning and a sense of fun.
"English mathematician Godfrey H. Hardy (1877-1947) once said, "The mathematician's patterns, like the painter 's or the poet's must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colors or the words must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics." Whether or not one agrees with this test, it is difficult to argue that the continued fraction doesn't pass it. It is, by its very form, visually beautiful and simple. While its simplicity may seem to wane in exploring it mathematically, its beauty certainly does not. Continued fractions are not only appealing in their visual form; they are also, among other applications, appealing in their ability to approximate numbers and functions. The history of their study is long and must be credited to an extensive list of inspired mathematicians. While this history is not included in this paper, it is nonetheless appreciated and honored. The aim of this paper is to provide a clear introductory look at the study of continued fractions and will focus upon their relationship with particular sets of numbers and their approximations. The chief concern of Chapter 1 is the simple continued fraction. One-to-one correspondences are established between finite simple continued fractions and rational numbers, infinite simple continued fractions and irrational numbers, and therefore between simple continued fractions and real numbers. A similar correspondence is established between periodic simple continued fractions and quadratic irrationals. The accuracy of the resulting approximations arising from these continued fractions is also addressed. Chapter 2 is concerned with the general continued fraction. Linear fractional transformations (l.f.t.'s or Mobius transformations) are employed to describe such a continued fraction and many of its properties. Some interesting applications of simple continued fractions are explored in Chapter 3"--Document.
This reference - the proceedings of a research conference held in Loen, Norway - contains information on the analytic theory of continued fractions and their application to moment problems and orthogonal sequences of functions. Uniting the research efforts of many international experts, this volume: treats strong moment problems, orthogonal polynomials and Laurent polynomials; analyses sequences of linear fractional transformations; presents convergence results, including truncation error bounds; considers discrete distributions and limit functions arising from indeterminate moment problems; discusses Szego polynomials and their applications to frequency analysis; describes the quadrature formula arising from q-starlike functions; and covers continued fractional representations for functions related to the gamma function.;This resource is intended for mathematical and numerical analysts; applied mathematicians; physicists; chemists; engineers; and upper-level undergraduate and agraduate students in these disciplines.
Thirty years ago mathematical, as opposed to applied numerical, computation was difficult to perform and so relatively little used. Three threads changed that: the emergence of the personal computer; the discovery of fiber-optics and the consequent development of the modern internet; and the building of the Three “M’s” Maple, Mathematica and Matlab. We intend to persuade that Maple and other like tools are worth knowing assuming only that one wishes to be a mathematician, a mathematics educator, a computer scientist, an engineer or scientist, or anyone else who wishes/needs to use mathematics better. We also hope to explain how to become an `experimental mathematician' while learning to be better at proving things. To accomplish this our material is divided into three main chapters followed by a postscript. These cover elementary number theory, calculus of one and several variables, introductory linear algebra, and visualization and interactive geometric computation.
Special functions are pervasive in all fields of science and industry. The most well-known application areas are in physics, engineering, chemistry, computer science and statistics. Because of their importance, several books and websites (see for instance http: functions.wolfram.com) and a large collection of papers have been devoted to these functions. Of the standard work on the subject, the Handbook of mathematical functions with formulas, graphs and mathematical tables edited by Milton Abramowitz and Irene Stegun, the American National Institute of Standards claims to have sold over 700 000 copies! But so far no project has been devoted to the systematic study of continued fraction representations for these functions. This handbook is the result of such an endeavour. We emphasise that only 10% of the continued fractions contained in this book, can also be found in the Abramowitz and Stegun project or at the Wolfram website!
Welcome to diophantine analysis--an area of number theory in which we attempt to discover hidden treasures and truths within the jungle of numbers by exploring rational numbers. Diophantine analysis comprises two different but interconnected domains--diophantine approximation and diophantine equations. This highly readable book brings to life the fundamental ideas and theorems from diophantine approximation, geometry of numbers, diophantine geometry and $p$-adic analysis. Through an engaging style, readers participate in a journey through these areas of number theory. Each mathematical theme is presented in a self-contained manner and is motivated by very basic notions. The reader becomes an active participant in the explorations, as each module includes a sequence of numbered questions to be answered and statements to be verified. Many hints and remarks are provided to be freely used and enjoyed. Each module then closes with a Big Picture Question that invites the reader to step back from all the technical details and take a panoramic view of how the ideas at hand fit into the larger mathematical landscape. This book enlists the reader to build intuition, develop ideas and prove results in a very user-friendly and enjoyable environment. Little background is required and a familiarity with number theory is not expected. All that is needed for most of the material is an understanding of calculus and basic linear algebra together with the desire and ability to prove theorems. The minimal background requirement combined with the author's fresh approach and engaging style make this book enjoyable and accessible to second-year undergraduates, and even advanced high school students. The author's refreshing new spin on more traditional discovery approaches makes this book appealing to any mathematician and/or fan of number theory.
Exploring the Real Numbers helps readers understand the real number system. Stevenson brings readers up to date with the study of the nature of real numbers, and provides a sense of the historical journey that has led to our current knowledge of the subject. Presents many interesting topics that arise during study of the real numbers. Offers 21 exploratory projects, encouraging readers to pursue concepts beyond the book. Includes over 100 carefully worked examples. Features abundant exercises throughout. For anyone interested in learning more about some of the very different and often beautiful aspects of mathematics.
The Fourth Edition of College Algebra continues to promote student success by engaging students in mathematics, thus helping them see the dynamic link between concepts and applications. The authors' hallmark approach, the Aufmann Interactive Method, encourages students to interact with math by presenting an annotated example, then guiding students with a Try Exercise, and finally presenting a worked-out solution for immediate reinforcement of the concept. A wealth of new features designed to enhance learning include more in-text guidance as well as special web-based resources, and an unparalleled Instructor's Annotated Edition facilitates teaching.New! An Instructor's Annotated Edition, unlike any other offered for this course, features reduced student text pages with special instructor resources in the margins: teaching tips, extra examples, ideas for reinforcing concepts, discussion suggestions, highlighted vocabulary and symbols, challenge problems, quizzes, suggested assignments, and references to transparencies that may be found both in the Instructor's Resource Manual and on the web site.New! Side-by-Side Solutions to examples pair an algebraic solution and a graphical representation to accommodate different learning styles.New! Technology-dependent modeling sections introduce the idea of mathematical modeling of data through linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, and logistic regression.New! Integrated web resources include selected Take Note boxes (identified by a special web icon) which direct students to an interactive example or a downloadable file on the web site. These special resources can be used by instructors for presentation purposes or can be assigned tostudents to help them 'visualize' a concept.New! Concept Lists now prominently feature all the major topics at the beginning of each section, preparing students for the concepts to follow.A wide range of applications, exercise sets, and supplemental exercises--many involving real data--encourage problem solving, skill building, group work, writing, and manipulation of graphing calculators.Exploring Concepts with Technology, a special end-of-chapter feature, expands on ideas introduced in the text by using technology to investigate extended mathematical applications or topics.Projects at the end of each exercise set are designed to encourage students (or groups of students) to research and write about mathematics and its applications. Additional Projects are included in the Instructor's Resource Manual and on the book's web site.Topics for Discussion, conceptual exercises included at the end of each section, can be used for discussion or writing assignments.Take Note and Math Matters (formerly called Point of Interest) margin notes alert students about interesting aspects of math history, applications, and points that require special attention.
Among the many constants that appear in mathematics, π, e, and i are the most familiar. Following closely behind is y, or gamma, a constant that arises in many mathematical areas yet maintains a profound sense of mystery. In a tantalizing blend of history and mathematics, Julian Havil takes the reader on a journey through logarithms and the harmonic series, the two defining elements of gamma, toward the first account of gamma's place in mathematics. Introduced by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), who figures prominently in this book, gamma is defined as the limit of the sum of 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + . . . Up to 1/n, minus the natural logarithm of n--the numerical value being 0.5772156. . . . But unlike its more celebrated colleagues π and e, the exact nature of gamma remains a mystery--we don't even know if gamma can be expressed as a fraction. Among the numerous topics that arise during this historical odyssey into fundamental mathematical ideas are the Prime Number Theorem and the most important open problem in mathematics today--the Riemann Hypothesis (though no proof of either is offered!). Sure to be popular with not only students and instructors but all math aficionados, Gamma takes us through countries, centuries, lives, and works, unfolding along the way the stories of some remarkable mathematics from some remarkable mathematicians.