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Ty to Einstein's Theory of Relativity within a particular historical moment elucidating the development of mathematical and philosophical thought necessary for each euation's discovery None of these euations emerged in a vacuum Stewart shows; each drew in some way on past euations and the thinking of the day In turn all of these euations paved the way for major developments in mathematics science philosophy and technology Without logarithms invented in the early 17th century by John Napier and improved by Henry Briggs scientists would not have been able to calculate the movement of the planets and mathematicians would not have been. Great book Ian uses the euations as a launching pad to dive deeper into subjects that surround the euation I greatly enjoyed his selection of euations His last paragraph on each euation usually had some great personal commentary about society I was a little disappointed in the discussion of Maxwell s Euations as he tried to get a little technical but then said a couple times that it would be too hard to explain correctly in this book I m a physics teacher and I ve seen very good short explanations of Maxwell But Ian finished the book on an euation that caught me off guard The Midas Formula Black Scholes Euation for investment modeling was analyzed in how it led to the euation winning the Nobel Prize to only then be greatly misused without full understanding and thus leading to the banking debacle of the current century Easy to just pick one of the 17 euations and read it I read it cover to cover at the beach

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17 Euations that Changed the World

In In Pursuit of the Unknown celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart uses a handful of mathematical euations to explore the vitally important connections between math and human progress We often overlook the historical link between mathematics and technological advances says Stewart but this connection is integral to any complete understanding of human historyEuations are modeled on the patterns we find in the world around us says Stewart and it is through euations that we are able to make sense of and in turn influence our world Stewart locates the origins of each euation he presents from Pythagoras's Theorem to Newton's Law of Gravi. I am a fan of Ian Stewart I think he is one of the best writers about Mathematics and Science in general certainly one of the most approachable to a layman albeit a layman with a scientificmathematical bent I own and have read a number of his books and have enjoyed them all You can find a number of my reviews of his books on GoodreadsAs the subtitle says this book is about 17 euations that changed the world As one who has a PhD in Physics I was familiar with all but one of these euations but the author certainly broadens one s appreciation of the effects of these euations on the course of human history The one I was unfamiliar with is the Black Scholes Euation about which laterEach chapter begins with a summary page showing the euation in uestion with little lines pointing to the major elements of the euations and labels identifying them Then on the same page the author lists three items 1 What does it tell us 2 Why is that important 3 What did it lead to This forms the basis for the rest of the chapter and sets the tone While the author talks a little about the mathematics behind the euation he adds some history some related anecdotes and then a discussion of details about why the euation is important and how it has affected humans sometimes over millenia While I was familiar with almost all of the euations I learned something new about each one from the author s coverage His writing style is light and often amusing He often refers to things in today s society that are relevant to the euation and its conseuencesI was particularly delighted with Stewart s discussion in the introduction to the chapter on the Second Law of Thermodynamics a topic that I always found challenging even as a trained physicist of C P Snow s The Two CulturesTwo Cultures a lecture given in 1959 that has long rung true to my ears Snow s premise was that while society expects educated people to know for example the works of Shakespeare and other literary and historical works it is rare for those so called educated people to know even basic science least of all understand it He used the Second Law of Thermodynamics as an example as it is a very fundamental physical law that should be familiar to everyone Snow bemoaned the low level of scientific education at the time and it is my belief that the situation has only become worse so many people today ignore scientific results often preferring political statements to those of science The issue of climate change is the obvious example but there are many Stewart s explanation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and its ramifications were extremely lucid and his discussion right on targetThe last chapter is entitled The Midas formula Black Scholes Euation This was the only euation I was unfamiliar with and for a very good reason it relates to Finance and financial derivatives in particular The author not only provides a very good explanation of the euation and how it has become the sine ua non of Wall Street and the big financial organizations used to justify their reckless actions that caused the 2008 9 financial crisis and the resulting Great Recession which is far from over as I write despite all the glowing reports of economic growth This chapter is a strong and authoritative indictment of what has happened in the Financial sector and continues to happen with no sign of any accountability ever being applied If regular people read this chapter and fully understood it they would and should become enraged over what has happened and continues to happen Unless the financial sector is reined in we are no doubt headed for catastrophes in the futureOne further point about this book I have felt for some time that there is a real need for students from middle school high school and college not only to learn mathematics but to learn how it is useful and relevant in their lives Too often mathematics is taught in a rote manner too many students are turned off by repetitive problems Solve the following 40 uadratic euations and the like and with too little understanding of the concepts and the true meaning of the many aspects of mathematicsI would love this book to become reuired reading at say the upper high school andor college level as I think it could help with this necessary deeper understanding of the relevance of mathematics Unfortunately I doubt that most students would have the necessary sophistication to fully understand many of the concepts in this book This is not to say that the book is written at a very deep level but it would take a relatively sophisticated reader to get the best out of the book However perhaps someone could teach a mathematics course with this as a supplementary text with the necessary translation being performed by the teacher I suppose I am forever optimistic

free download 17 Euations that Changed the World

Able to develop fractal geometry The Wave Euation is one of the most important euations in physics and is crucial for engineers studying the vibrations in vehicles and the response of buildings to earthuakes And the euation at the heart of Information Theory devised by Claude Shannon is the basis of digital communication todayAn approachable and informative guide to the euations upon which nearly every aspect of scientific and mathematical understanding depends In Pursuit of the Unknown is also a reminder that euations have profoundly influenced our thinking and continue to make possible many of the advances that we take for grant. An interesting idea but I found the book to be so badly written that it didn t really hold my attention Some of the euations are really important and we ought to have a working knowledge of them but this isn t the vehicle to impart that knowledge


10 thoughts on “17 Euations that Changed the World

  1. says:

    So for a while now I’ve been wanting to read a popular math book and Ian is a well known mathematician I must say I was

  2. says:

    There's been a trend for a couple of years in popular science to produce 'n greatest ideas' type books the written euivalent of those interminable '50 best musicals' or '100 favourite comedy moments' or whatever shows that certain TV companies churn out Now it has come to popular maths in the form of Ian Stewart's 17 Euations that Changed the WorldStewart is a prolific writer according to the accompanying bumf he has authored than

  3. says:

    I am a fan

  4. says:

    Great book Ian uses the euations as a launching pad to dive deeper into subjects that surround the euation I greatly enjoyed his selection of euations His last paragraph on each euation usually had some great personal commen

  5. says:

    There were parts of this book that made me want to rate this at least 4 stars but there were also uite A few boring parts that made me want to skip over them completely Overall it was A very interesting book and one that I

  6. says:

    Not every chapter in the British mathematician's latest book is actually about an euation but most of them are He covers Pythagora's theorem the one about the sides of a triangle logarithms calculus Newton's law of gravity complex numbers the relationship discovered by the Swiss mathematician Euler regarding the number of sides and vertices of polyhedra the normal distribution the bell curve the euation used to describ

  7. says:

    While I enjoyed the description of many of the key euations covered I did not find them well laid out Either too great an understanding was assumed or too little My major concern with the book arose in the final euation chapter where the author covers the black scholes euation and blames the financial crisis on the use of derivatives in a blanket manner The arguments suggest a lack of understanding of fundamental economic theory particula

  8. says:

    An interesting idea but I found the book to be so badly written that it didn't really hold my attention Some of

  9. says:

    NO review Just that I can't manage to bring myself back to this book again without putting myself to sleep Maybe later

  10. says:

    A neat idea this to sum up the history of human attempts to explain the physical world in 17 euations Ian Stewart takes u

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