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Robert Crease's A Brief Guide to the Great Equations: The Hunt for Cosmic PDF

By Robert Crease

ISBN-10: 1845292812

ISBN-13: 9781845292812

Listed here are the tales of the 10 preferred equations of all time as voted for by means of readers of "Physics World", together with - accessibly defined the following for the 1st time - the favorite equation of all, Euler's equation. every one is an equation that captures with attractive simplicity what can purely be defined clumsily in phrases. Euler's equation [eip + 1 = zero] was once defined via respondents as 'the so much profound mathematic assertion ever written', 'uncanny and sublime', 'filled with cosmic attractiveness' and 'mind-blowing'. jointly those equations additionally quantity to the world's such a lot concise and trustworthy physique of data. Many scientists and people with a mathematical bent have a smooth spot for equations. This publication explains either why those ten equations are so attractive and demanding, and the human tales at the back of them.

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Additional info for A Brief Guide to the Great Equations: The Hunt for Cosmic Beauty in Numbers

Example text

That bewilderment provokes a curiosity essential to learning. He is ready to let himself be led – ready to take a journey. It makes him want to see. He wants to move. We shall encounter the role of something triggering this desire – to move from where one is – again and again in the birth of equations. Sometimes the trigger is a chance event – perhaps the fall of an apple – while at other times it may be a passing remark, puzzling data, or an inconsistency between two theories. Here Socrates has bewildered the boy to induce the boy to want to follow him – a kind of seduction, which was one of the crimes Socrates would soon be accused of and for which he would be condemned to death.

Socrates and Meno begin discussing who the teachers of virtue might be. They quickly run out of candidates, for they determine that neither the good citizens nor even the esteemed rulers of the city are appropriate. At this point a wealthy and powerful Athenian named Anytus joins them. ’ A few years later, in fact, Anytus will be among the accusers who bring Socrates to the trial that will sentence him to death. In the play-within-the-play, we see a lot of things; we readers go on a journey as well.

He asks what this says about triangles, and the students usually don’t say much. He asks what they know about triangles, and at least one person usually repeats the Pythagorean theorem, without realizing the connection to what’s in front of them. ‘Pay dirt’, Socher writes. For with a word or two more, the connection between rule and proof suddenly descends. Four triangles in two different arrangements. That is the unforgettable moment, the kind that we remember – and even long for – as adults. In Quartered Safe Out Here: A Recollection of the War in Burma, the British novelist George MacDonald Fraser tells of showing the Pythagorean theorem to his comrade Duke one night after their regiment had dug in along the road to Rangoon during World War II.

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A Brief Guide to the Great Equations: The Hunt for Cosmic Beauty in Numbers by Robert Crease

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