Imagining Numbers: (particularly the Square Root of Minus Fifteen)

Sprednja platnica
Macmillan, 2003 - 270 strani
How the elusive imaginary number was first imagined, and how to imagine it yourself
"Imagining Numbers (particularly the square root of minus fifteen)" is Barry Mazur's invitation to those who take delight in the imaginative work of reading poetry, but may have no background in math, to make a leap of the imagination in mathematics. Imaginary numbers entered into mathematics in sixteenth-century Italy and were used with immediate success, but nevertheless presented an intriguing challenge to the imagination. It took more than two hundred years for mathematicians to discover a satisfactory way of "imagining" these numbers.
With discussions about how we comprehend ideas both in poetry and in mathematics, Mazur reviews some of the writings of the earliest explorers of these elusive figures, such as Rafael Bombelli, an engineer who spent most of his life draining the swamps of Tuscany and who in his spare moments composed his great treatise "L'Algebra." Mazur encourages his readers to share the early bafflement of these Renaissance thinkers. Then he shows us, step by step, how to begin imagining, ourselves, imaginary numbers.
 

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LibraryThing Review

Uporabnikova ocena  - rcorfield - LibraryThing

This is an interesting little book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It sets out to help the user understand and, more importantly, visualise, imaginary numbers (i.e. the square-root of -1). The author ... Celotno mnenje

LibraryThing Review

Uporabnikova ocena  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Literally a case of "mathematics for poets." The gentlest of intros to imaginary and complex numbers. It certainly doesn't explain things like raising one complex number to the power of another. Celotno mnenje

Vsebina

PART II
105
PART III
197
Appendix The Quadratic Formula
231
Notes
235
Bibliography
257
Acknowledgments
259
Index
261
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