The Great Mathematicians: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe

The Great Mathematicians: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe

by Raymond Flood, Robin Wilson

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Why did Florence Nightingale introduce pie charts? How did Lewis Carroll regard Pythagoras? Who learned calculus from her nursery wallpaper?

Spanning from the ancient world to the modern age, The Great Mathematicians tells fascinating and unusual tales of the men and women who transformed mathematics. We meet the mathematician who knew eight languages by the time he was 11, the one who was sent to jail for gambling and the one who published a lot yet never existed.

As well as providing rich bibliographic detail, Professors Raymond Flood and Robin Wilson explain various theorems using concise and accessible language. These include the Pythagorean theorem, Gödel's Incompleteness theorem, Fermat's Last Theorem and many more. Flood and Wilson are both former presidents of the British Society for the History of Mathematics and are uniquely qualified to lay out this incredible tale.

This entertaining and rigorously accurate book presents mathematics with a human face, celebrating the achievements of the greatest mathematicians across history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848589483
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 15 MB
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About the Author

Robin Wilson is an Oxford graduate, Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University, and Emeritus Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London (the oldest mathematical chair in England). He is well known as a popularizer of mathematics, winning two prestigious awards from the Mathematical Association of America for 'outstanding expository writing'. Previous publications include Mathematics and Music: From Pythagoras to Fractals and Sherlock Holmes in Babylon and Other Tales of Mathematical History. He is also a guest lecturer at Colorado College.

Raymond Flood is Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford, having been Vice-President of the college and former President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics before retiring in 2010. He enjoys communicating mathematics and its history to non-specialist audiences, as he has done previously on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time. Previous publications include James Clerk Maxwell: Perspectives on his Life and Work and Mathematics in Victorian Britain.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Maps 14

1 Ancient Mathematics 19

The Egyptians 22

The Mesopotamians 26

Thales 30

Pythagoras 34

Plato and Aristotle 38

Euclid 42

Archimedes 46

Apollonius 50

Hipparchus and Ptolemy 53

Diophantus 56

Pappus and Hypatia 60

Nicomachus and Boethius 63

The Chinese 65

The Indians 69

The Mayans 73

Al-Khwarizmi 76

Alhazen and Omar Khayyan 79

2 Early European Mathematics 83

Gerbert 86

Fibonacci 89

Early Oxford mathematicians 93

Oresme 96

Regiomontanus 100

Perspective painters 103

Pacioli and da Vinci 106

Recorde 109

Cardano and Tartaglia 112

Bombelli 116

Mercator 120

Copernicus and Galileo 122

Kepler 125

Viète 128

Harriot 132

Mersenne and Kircher 135

Desargues 138

3 Awakening and Enlightenment 142

Napier and Briggs 145

Fermat 149

Descartes 153

Pascal 157

Cavalieri and Roberval 161

Huygens 165

Wallis 168

Newton 171

Wren, Hooke and Halley 174

Leibniz 178

Jacob Bernoulli 182

Johann Bernoulli 185

Newton's successors 189

D'Alembert 193

Euler 197

Lagrange 201

Laplace 205

4 The Age of Revolutions 209

Gauss 213

Germain 217

Monge and Poncelet 221

Cauchy 225

Fourier and Poisson 229

Abel and Galois 233

Möbius 237

Bolyai and Lobachevsky 241

Babbage and Lovelace 246

Hamilton 249

Boole 253

Green and Stokes 257

Thomas and Tait 261

Maxwell 265

Kirkman 269

Cayley and Sylvester 273

Chebyshev 277

Nightingale 281

Riemann 284

Dodgson 288

Cantor 292

Kovalevskaya 296

Klein 300

5 The Modern Age 304

Hilbert 307

Poincaré 311

Russell and Gödel 315

Einstein and Minkowski 319

Hardy, Littlewood and Ramanujan 323

Noether 327

Von Neumann 331

Turing 334

Bourbaki 338

Robinson and Matiyasevich 341

Appel and Haken 345

Mandelbrot 349

Wiles 352

Perelman 356

Fields Medallists 361

Further reading 366

Index 372

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