Mathematics and the Imagination

Mathematics and the Imagination

Book Title: Mathematics and the Imagination

Author: George Gamow

Format: Paperback | 400 pages

Publication Date: 28 Mar 2001

ISBN-13: 9780486417035

You don't have to love math to enjoy a hand of cards, a night at the casino, or a puzzle. But your pleasure and prowess at games, gambling, and other numerically related pursuits can be heightened with this entertaining volume, in which the authors offer a fascinating view of some of the lesser-known and more imaginative aspects of mathematics.
A brief and breezy explanation of the new language of mathematics precedes a smorgasbord of such thought-provoking subjects as the googolplex (the largest definite number anyone has yet bothered to conceive of); assorted geometries -- plane and fancy; famous puzzles that made mathematical history; and tantalizing paradoxes. Gamblers receive fair warning on the laws of chance; a look at rubber-sheet geometry twists circles into loops without sacrificing certain important properties; and an exploration of the mathematics of change and growth shows how calculus, among its other uses, helps trace the path of falling bombs.
Written with wit and clarity for the intelligent reader who has taken high school and perhaps college math, this volume deftly progresses from simple arithmetic to calculus and non-Euclidean geometry. It "lives up to its title in every way [and] might well have been merely terrifying, whereas it proves to be both charming and exciting." -- Saturday Review of Literature.