Ian Stewart, author of the bestselling Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, presents a new and magical mix of games, puzzles, paradoxes, brainteasers, and riddles. He mingles these with forays into ancient and modern mathematical thought, appallingly hilarious mathematical jokes, and enquiries into the great mathematical challenges of the present and past. Amongst a host of arcane and astonishing facts about every kind of number from irrational or imaginary to complex or cuneiform, we find out: how to organise chaos; how matter balances anti-matter; how to turn a sphere inside out (without creasing it...); why you can't comb a hairy ball; how to calculate pi by observing the stars. And we get some tantalising glimpses of the maths of life and the universe.Mind-stretching, enlightening and endlessly amusing, Professor Stewart's new entertainment will stimulate, delight, and enthral.
Like its wildly popular predecessors Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities and Hoard of Mathematical Treasures, Professor Stewart's brand-new book is a miscellany of over 150 mathematical curios and conundrums, packed with trademark humour and numerous illustrations.In addition to the fascinating formulae and thrilling theorems familiar to Professor Stewart's fans, the Casebook follows the adventures of the not-so-great detective Hemlock Soames and his sidekick Dr John Watsup (immortalised in the phrase 'Watsup, Doc?'). By a remarkable coincidence they live at 222B Baker Street, just across the road from their more illustrious neighbour who, for reasons known only to Dr Watsup, is never mentioned by name. A typical item is 'The Case of the Face-Down Aces', a mathematical magic trick of quite devilish cunning... Ranging from one-liners to four-page investigations from the frontiers of mathematical research, the Casebook reveals Professor Stewart at his challenging and entertaining best.
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...
Ian Stewart explores the astonishing properties of numbers from 1 to 10 to zero and infinity, including one figure that, if you wrote it out, would span the universe. He looks at every kind of number you can think of -- real, imaginary, rational, irrational, positive and negative -- along with several you might have thought you couldn't think of. He explains the insights of the ancient mathematicians, shows how numbers have evolved through the ages, and reveals the way numerical theory enables everyday life. Under Professor Stewart's guidance you will discover the mathematics of codes, Sudoku, Rubik's Cube, music, primes and pi. You may be surprised to find you live in eleven-dimensional space, that of the twenty-three people on a football pitch two are more likely than not to share the same birthday, and that forty-two is a very interesting number. Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers will delight everyone who loves numbers -- including those who currently think they don't.
From Newton's Law of Gravity to the Black-Scholes model used by bankers to predict the markets, equations, are everywhere -- and they are fundamental to everyday life.Seventeen Equations that Changed the World examines seventeen ground-breaking equations that have altered the course of human history. He explores how Pythagoras's Theorem led to GPS and Satnav; how logarithms are applied in architecture; why imaginary numbers were important in the development of the digital camera, and what is really going on with Schrdinger's cat. Entertaining, surprising and vastly informative, Seventeen Equations that Changed the World is a highly original exploration -- and explanation -- of life on earth.
A new partnership of biologists and mathematicians is picking apart the hidden complexity of animals and plants to throw fresh light on the behaviour of entire organisms, how they interact and how changes in biological diversity affect the planet's ecological balance. Mathematics offers new and sometimes startling perspectives on evolution and how patterns of inheritance and population work out over time-scales ranging from millions to hundreds of years - as well as what's going on to change us right now. Ian Stewart, in characteristically clear and entertaining fashion, explores these and a whole range of pertinent issues, including how far genes control behaviour and the nature of life itself. He shows how far mathematicians and biologists are succeeding in tackling some of the most difficult scientific problems the human race has ever confronted and where their research is currently taking us.
A celebrated mathematician traces the history of math through the lives and work of twenty-five pioneering mathematicians In Significant Figures, acclaimed mathematician Ian Stewart introduces the visionaries of mathematics throughout history. Delving into the lives of twenty-five great mathematicians, Stewart examines the roles they played in creating, inventing, and discovering the mathematics we use today. Through these short biographies, we get acquainted with the history of mathematics from Archimedes to Benoit Mandelbrot, and learn about those too often left out of the cannon, such as Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi (c. 780-850), the creator of algebra, and Augusta Ada King (1815-1852), Countess of Lovelace, the world's first computer programmer. Tracing the evolution of mathematics over the course of two millennia, Significant Figures will educate and delight aspiring mathematicians and experts alike.
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.
A celebrated mathematician explores how math helps us make sense of the unpredictable We would like to believe we can know things for certain. We want to be able to figure out who will win an election, if the stock market will crash, or if a suspect definitely committed a crime. But the odds are not in our favor. Life is full of uncertainty --- indeed, scientific advances indicate that the universe might be fundamentally inexact --- and humans are terrible at guessing. When asked to predict the outcome of a chance event, we are almost always wrong. Thankfully, there is hope. As award-winning mathematician Ian Stewart reveals, over the course of history, mathematics has given us some of the tools we need to better manage the uncertainty that pervades our lives. From forecasting, to medical research, to figuring out how to win Let's Make a Deal, Do Dice Play God? is a surprising and satisfying tour of what we can know, and what we never will.
This anthology brings together the year's finest writing on mathematics from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in mathematics, The Best Writing on Mathematics makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else--and you don't need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of mathematics today. They delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday occurrences of math, and take readers behind the scenes of today's hottest mathematical debates. Here readers will discover why Freeman Dyson thinks some mathematicians are birds while others are frogs; why Keith Devlin believes there's more to mathematics than proof; what Nick Paumgarten has to say about the timing patterns of New York City's traffic lights (and why jaywalking is the most mathematically efficient way to cross Sixty-sixth Street); what Samuel Arbesman can tell us about the epidemiology of the undead in zombie flicks; and much, much more. In addition to presenting the year's most memorable writing on mathematics, this must-have anthology also includes a foreword by esteemed mathematician William Thurston and an informative introduction by Mircea Pitici. This book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in where math has taken us--and where it's headed.