Infinite powers : how calculus reveals the secrets of the universe

by Strogatz, Steven H.

Format: Print Book 2019.
Availability: On Order 6 copies
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Summary
From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a brilliant and endlessly appealing explanation of calculus - how it works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better.

Without calculus, we wouldn't have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn't have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket.

Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz's brilliantly creative, down‑to‑earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it's about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number--infinity--to tackle real‑world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous.

Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves (a phenomenon predicted by calculus). Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to make electricity with magnets; how to ensure your rocket doesn't miss the moon; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.

As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew.
Contents
Introduction
Infinity
The man who harnessed infinity
Discovering the laws of motion
The dawn of differential calculus
The crossroads
The vocabulary of change
The secret fountain
Fictions of the mind
The logical universe
Making waves
The future of calculus
Conclusion.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Strogatz (The Joy of X), a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, provides a reminder that calculus has practical applications and makes the field accessible to readers at all levels in this far-ranging survey. He begins with the ancient Greeks and their search for ways to calculate the areas of circles and curves by slicing them into smaller pieces. Centuries later, Galileo studied the relationship between the length and movement of pendulums. Strogatz introduces the characters behind the math, covering great partnerships (such as that of astronomers Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, whose work led to Kepler's laws of planetary motion) and seething rivalries (such as that of Pierre de Fermat and RenAc Descartes, who laid the groundwork for differential calculus, and the famous competition between calculus innovators Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz). Strogatz also gives plenty of real-world applications, from designing microwave ovens to plotting the course of spacecraft and fighting HIV. His discussion is clear and accessible, with plenty of diagrams, and mercifully few equations. Strogatz successfully illuminates a notoriously complex topic and this work should enhance appreciation for the history behind its innovations. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman Inc. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Archimedes.
Calculus.
Calculus -- History.
Differential calculus.
History.
Publisher Boston :2019.
Language English
Description pages cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9781328879981
1328879984
Other Classic View