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In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World


In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World

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    Available in PDF Format | In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World.pdf | English
    Ian Stewart(Author)
"An engaging tour of vital math for a modern world.... [A] wonderfully accessible book."--Scientific American
Most people are familiar with history's great equations: Newton's Law of Gravity, for instance, or Einstein's theory of relativity. But the way these mathematical breakthroughs have contributed to human progress is seldom appreciated. In In Pursuit of the Unknown, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart untangles the roots of our most important mathematical statements to show that equations have long been a driving force behind nearly every aspect of our lives.
Using seventeen of our most crucial equations--including the Wave Equation that allowed engineers to measure a building's response to earthquakes, saving countless lives, and the Black-Scholes model, used by bankers to track the price of financial derivatives over time--Stewart illustrates that many of the advances we now take for granted were made possible by mathematical discoveries.
An approachable, lively, and informative guide to the mathematical building blocks of modern life, In Pursuit of the Unknown is a penetrating exploration of how we have also used equations to make sense of, and in turn influence, our world.

"Publishers Weekly""Stewart shares his enthusiasm as well as his knowledge in this tour of ground-breaking equations and the research they supported.... An entertaining and illuminating collection of curious facts and histories suitable for random dipping-in or reading straight through." "Kirkus Reviews""Stewart provides clear, cogent explanations of how the equations work without burdening the reader with cumbersome derivations.... He gives a fascinating explanation of how Newton's laws, when extended to three-body problems, are still used by NASA to calculate the best route from Earth to Mars and have laid the basis for chaos theory. Throughout, Stewart's style is felicitous." "Discover""Seemingly basic equations have enabled us to predict eclipses, engineer earthquake-proof buildings, and invent the refrigerator. In this lively volume, mathematician Ian Stewart delves into 17 equations that shape our daily existence, including those dreamed up by the likes of Einstein, Newton, and Erwin Schrodinger." "Maclean's""Stewart is "the" finest living math popularizer--a writer who can tackle eye-spraining mathematical topics approachably, and yet dazzle hard-core nerds with new and surprising information. It is hard not to get your money's worth from him, and in a book like this he is at his best because of the very wide ground covered." "Library Journal""Stewart's expertise and his well-developed style (enhanced by a nice sense of humor) make for enjoyable reading.... [A] worthwhile and entertaining book, accessible to all readers. Recommended for anyone interested in the influence of mathematics on the development of science and on the emergence of our current technology-driven society." "Washington Independent Review of Books""Stewart has managed to produce a remarkably readable, informative and entertaining volume on a subject about which few are as well informed as they would like to be." "New York Journal of Books""Stewart is a genius in the way he conveys his excitement and sense of wonder.... He has that valuable grasp of not only what it takes to make equations interesting, but also to make science cool."

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Book details

  • PDF | 342 pages
  • Ian Stewart(Author)
  • Basic Books (AZ) (8 Oct. 2013)
  • English
  • 4
  • Science & Nature

Review Text

  • By Astro Mark on 23 May 2017

    A fascinating book.If you have ever wondered what use equations are to you?This book explains why some equations are so important in our modern world.Even though the maths may be complicated, this book explains what they are used for and why they are so important to us.

  • By LauraB on 10 May 2017

    Bought for my son's 16th birthday. He loved the book. Very interesting and I would highly recommend it for a maths geek.

  • By Guest on 22 May 2017

    good product, quick delivery,excellent

  • By Guest on 14 July 2017

    Stocking filler for my stepdad. He'd finished it by new year! Winner!

  • By R. Clark on 18 August 2017

    Really interesting and well written. A real page turner.

  • By Duncan Tait on 21 July 2017

    An excellent and worthwhile read. It sets out the scope of mathematics well to show that it is not just about arithmetic as some people think.

  • By Xenophon on 5 September 2012

    When learning Maths at secondary school in the UK, one learns theorems, equations, mathematical methods, learns how to apply them, answers questions on them in class and in exams and stops there. Maths done. Finished.Ian Stewart sees this gap between the Maths people know and the uses of this Maths both historically and in our present-day societies. An example is his chapter on logarithms. Many have heard of logarithms and know the basic logarithmic rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. What Stewart does, as he does with the other 16 equations, formulas and mathematical ideas, is to give the historical development of logarithms, describes how they function, describe how they are useful and describes their various important applications in our daily lives.Stewart is a great ambassador for Maths and has done a great deal to make the subject seem less stuffy and more approachable to the reader. If students were introduced to the applications, meanings and ideas behind the Maths they are taught at school at an earlier age via Stewart's book then maybe there would be a greater passion developed amongst adolescents to study it further and realise its importance in understanding the world around us.

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