first there was Edwin A. Abbott's remarkable Flatland, published in 1884, and one of the all-time classics of popular mathematics. Now, from mathematician and accomplished science writer Ian Stewart, comes what Nature calls ''a superb sequel.'' Through larger-than-life characters and an inspired story line, Flatter land explores our present understanding of the shape and origins of the universe, the nature of space, time, and matter, as well as modern geometries and their applications. The journey begins when our heroine, Victoria Line, comes upon her great-great-grandfather A. Square's diary, hidden in the attic. The writings help her to contact the Space Hopper, who tempts her away from her home and family in Flatland and becomes her guide and mentor through ten dimensions. In the tradition of Alice in Wonderland and The Phantom Toll Booth, this magnificent investigation into the nature of reality is destined to become a modern classic.
Symmetry is an immensely important concept in mathematics and throughout the sciences. In this Very Short Introduction, Ian Stewart highlights the deep implications of symmetry and its important scientific applications across the entire subject.
At its heart, mathematics is about numbers, our fundamental tools for understanding the world. In Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers, Ian Stewart offers a delightful introduction to the numbers that surround us, from the common (Pi and 2) to the uncommon but no less consequential (1.059463 and 43,252,003,274,489,856,000). Along the way, Stewart takes us through prime numbers, cubic equations, the concept of zero, the possible positions on the Rubik's Cube, the role of numbers in human history, and beyond! An unfailingly genial guide, Stewart brings his characteristic wit and erudition to bear on these incredible numbers, offering an engaging primer on the principles and power of math.
Welcome back to Ian Stewart's magical world of mathematics! This is a strange world of never-ending chess games, empires on the moon, furious fireflies, and, of course, disputes over how best to cut a cake. Each quirky tale presents a fascinating mathematical puzzle — challenging, fun, and also introducing the reader to a significant mathematical problem in an engaging and witty way.
A prize-winning popular science writer uses mathematical modeling to explain the cosmos. In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. Beginning with the Babylonian integration of mathematics into the study of astronomy and cosmology, Stewart traces the evol...
This is a very successful textbook for undergraduate students of pure mathematics. Students often find the subject of complex analysis very difficult. Here the authors, who are experienced and well-known expositors, avoid many of such difficulties by using two principles: (1) generalising concepts familiar from real analysis; (2) adopting an approach which exhibits and makes use of the rich geometrical structure of the subject. An opening chapter provides a brief history of complex analysis which sets it in context and provides motivation.
In this charming volume, a noted English mathematician uses humor and anecdote to illuminate the concepts of groups, sets, subsets, topology, Boolean algebra, and other mathematical subjects. 200 illustrations.
There are some mathematical problems whose significance goes beyond the ordinary - like Fermat's Last Theorem or Goldbach's Conjecture - they are the enigmas which define mathematics. The Great Mathematical Problems explains why these problems exist, why they matter, what drives mathematicians to incredible lengths to solve them and where they stand in the context of mathematics and science as a whole. It contains solved problems - like the Poincar Conjecture, cracked by the eccentric genius Grigori Perelman, who refused academic honours and a million-dollar prize for his work, and ones which, like the Riemann Hypothesis, remain baffling after centuries. Stewart is the guide to this mysterious and exciting world, showing how modern mathematicians constantly rise to the challenges set by their predecessors, as the great mathematical problems of the past succumb to the new techniques and ideas of the present.
Infinity is an intriguing topic, with connections to religion, philosophy, metaphysics, logic, and physics as well as mathematics. Its history goes back to ancient times, with especially important contributions from Euclid, Aristotle, Eudoxus, and Archimedes. The infinitely large (infinite) isintimately related to the infinitely small (infinitesimal). Cosmologists consider sweeping questions about whether space and time are infinite. Philosophers and mathematicians ranging from Zeno to Russell have posed numerous paradoxes about infinity and infinitesimals. Many vital areas ofmathematics rest upon some version of infinity. The most obvious, and the first context in which major new techniques...