By Tobias Dantzig, Joseph Mazur, Barry Mazur

ISBN-10: 0131856278

ISBN-13: 9780131856271

It's the target of this ebook to...present the evolution of quantity because the profoundly human tale which it is."

—Tobias Dantzig

"This is past doubt the main fascinating ebook at the evolution of arithmetic which has ever fallen into my palms. If humans know the way to treasure the really reliable, this e-book will reach a long-lasting position within the literature of the area. The evolution of mathematical inspiration from the earliest instances to the newest buildings is gifted the following with admirable consistency and originality and in a superbly full of life style."

—Albert Einstein

"Tobias Dantzig's quantity: The Language of technological know-how is among the actually nice classics of mathematical exposition, might be the main lucid heritage of the quantity idea ever written. Its republication might be a reason for get together by means of each scientifically minded individual, despite his or her mathematical background."

—Eli Maor, writer of e: the tale of a host and To Infinity and Beyond

"Tobias Dantzig's quantity is a vintage. a desirable account of the evolution of arithmetic, it merits a spot at the bookshelf of somebody who's drawn to the background of thought."

—Charles Seife, writer of 0 and Alpha and Omega

"A vintage! someone drawn to the background of numbers and arithmetic may still learn this book."

—Mario Livio, writer of The Golden Ratio

From the rudimentary mathematical skills of prehistoric guy to the counterintuitive and peculiar rules on the edges of recent math, this masterpiece of technological know-how writing tells the tale of arithmetic throughout the historical past of its such a lot crucial idea: number.

Dantzig succeeds in his target to bare a human tale, and in making that tale obtainable to the non-expert. In his pleasant and alluring variety, he exhibits how math constructed from uncomplicated schools found in us all, starting with our "number sense"—the skill to parent that an item has been extra to or faraway from a small number of gadgets with no counting. the next evolution of the concept that of quantity is inextricably associated with the heritage of human tradition, as Dantzig demonstrates. He exhibits how advances in math have been spurred by means of the calls for of turning out to be trade within the historic international; how the natural hypothesis of philosophers and non secular mystics contributed to our knowing of numbers; how the trade of rules among cultures in instances of battle and imperial conquest fueled advances in wisdom; and, eventually, how the forces of historical past mix with human instinct to set off revolutions in thought.

Sweeping in scope, quantity is an open doorway into the area of math. Dantzig explains the rules of arithmetic comfortably, and eloquently explores deeper philosophical questions that come up alongside the best way. He describes the houses of every kind of numbers—integers, primes, irrationals, transcendentals, and extra. He explains the importance of 0, and exhibits that its invention had progressive results for mathematics. He exhibits how the discovery of symbols to be used in algebra—a radical departure from culture on the time—ushered in a brand new period of math; how mathematics and geometry mirror one another; and the way calculus makes use of infinity to version the continuity of house and time.

With a brand new afterword, notes part, and bibliography written
by math professor and writer Joseph Mazur, and a brand new foreword through mathematician Barry Mazur, the Masterpiece technological know-how variation of Number—which was once first released in 1930—is the 1st replace of Dantzig's vintage paintings in over fifty years. it's a tale that levels from the sunrise of guy to the genius of history's maximum mathematicians, vividly revealing how the pursuit of information transcends the increase and fall of civilizations.

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Additional resources for Number: The Language of Science (The Masterpiece Science Edition)

Example text

As to the abacus itself, no traces of it are found in Western Europe during the eighteenth century. Its reappearance early in the nineteenth century occurred under very curious circumstances. The mathematician Poncelet, a general under Napoleon, was captured in the Russian campaign and spent many years in Russia as a prisoner of war. Upon returning to France he brought among other curios, a Russian abacus. For many years The Empty Column 35 to come, this importation of Poncelet’s was regarded as a great curiosity of “barbaric” origin.

So, for instance, early in the nineteenth century we find that Arabic numerals were called in Germany Deutsche with a view to differentiating them from the Roman, which were recognized as of foreign origin. As to the abacus itself, no traces of it are found in Western Europe during the eighteenth century. Its reappearance early in the nineteenth century occurred under very curious circumstances. The mathematician Poncelet, a general under Napoleon, was captured in the Russian campaign and spent many years in Russia as a prisoner of war.

16 NUMBER Indeed, if the choice of a base were left to a group of experts, we should probably witness a conflict between the practical man, who would insist on a base with the greatest number of divisors, such as twelve, and the mathematician, who would want a prime number, such as seven or eleven, for a base. As a matter of fact, late in the eighteenth century the great naturalist Buffon proposed that the duodecimal system (base 12) be universally adopted. He pointed to the fact that 12 has 4 divisors, while 10 has only two, and maintained that throughout the ages this inadequacy of our decimal system had been so keenly felt that, in spite of ten being the universal base, most measures had 12 secondary units.

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Number: The Language of Science (The Masterpiece Science Edition) by Tobias Dantzig, Joseph Mazur, Barry Mazur


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