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

By Tobias Dantzig, Joseph Mazur, Barry Mazur

It's the objective of this e-book to...present the evolution of quantity because the profoundly human tale which it is."

—Tobias Dantzig

"This is past doubt the main fascinating e-book at the evolution of arithmetic which has ever fallen into my arms. If humans understand how to treasure the actually strong, this ebook will reach a long-lasting position within the literature of the area. The evolution of mathematical notion from the earliest instances to the newest buildings is gifted right here with admirable consistency and originality and in a superbly full of life style."

—Albert Einstein

"Tobias Dantzig's quantity: The Language of technology is without doubt one of the really nice classics of mathematical exposition, possibly the main lucid heritage of the quantity idea ever written. Its republication can be a reason for party via 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 a person who's drawn to the heritage of thought."

—Charles Seife, writer of 0 and Alpha and Omega

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

—Mario Livio, writer of The Golden Ratio

From the rudimentary mathematical talents of prehistoric guy to the counterintuitive and weird principles on the edges of contemporary math, this masterpiece of technological know-how writing tells the tale of arithmetic in the course of the heritage of its such a lot primary inspiration: number.

Dantzig succeeds in his goal to bare a human tale, and in making that tale available to the non-expert. In his pleasant and alluring kind, he indicates how math built from simple schools found in us all, starting with our "number sense"—the skill to figure that an item has been extra to or faraway from a small selection of items with no counting. the following evolution of the concept that of quantity is inextricably associated with the historical past of human tradition, as Dantzig demonstrates. He exhibits how advances in math have been spurred by means of the calls for of growing to be trade within the old international; how the natural hypothesis of philosophers and non secular mystics contributed to our knowing of numbers; how the trade of principles among cultures in instances of conflict and imperial conquest fueled advances in wisdom; and, finally, 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 realm of math. Dantzig explains the principles of arithmetic comfortably, and eloquently explores deeper philosophical questions that come up alongside the way in which. He describes the homes of all types of numbers—integers, primes, irrationals, transcendentals, and extra. He explains the importance of 0, and indicates that its invention had progressive effects for mathematics. He indicates 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 replicate 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 via mathematician Barry Mazur, the Masterpiece technology variation of Number—which used to be 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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Extra resources for Number: The Language of Science (The Masterpiece Science Edition)

Sample text

Here the odd numbers symbolized white, day, heat, sun, fire; the even numbers, on the other hand, black, night, cold, matter, water, earth. The numbers were arranged in a holy board, the Lo-Chou, which had magic properties when properly used. 42 NUMBER “Bless us, divine number, thou who generatest gods and men! O holy, holy tetraktys, though that containest the root and the source of the eternally flowing creation! ” This is the prayer of the Pythagoreans addressed to the tetraktys, the holy fourfoldness, which was supposed to represent the four elements: fire, water, air and earth.

Some philologists claim that even the Indo-European number languages are of a quinary origin. They point to the Greek word pempazein, to count by fives, and also to the unquestionably quinary character of the Roman numerals. However, there is no other evidence of this sort, and it is much more probable that our group of languages passed through a preliminary vigesimal stage. This latter probably originated among the primitive tribes who counted on their toes as well as on their fingers. A most striking example of such a system is that used by the Maya Indians of Central America.

He will then offer to repeat the same numbers without an error and in the same succession. Has he memorized the series of numbers? No, he was simply translating some passage of the Hebrew scriptures into the language of Gematria. But let us return to number worship. It found its supreme expression in the philosophy of the Pythagoreans. Even numbers they regarded as soluble, therefore ephemeral, feminine, pertaining to the earthly; odd numbers as indissoluble, masculine, partaking of celestial nature.

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