Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists
 
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Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists



"This lively and entertaining book tells "tales'' of Cardano, Galileo, Huygens, Pascal, Gauss.... The reasoning of the scientists discussed is modernized so as to ease the reader's path; thus this book is not a scholarly discussion of the history of science readable only by experts, but a far more valuable work: a readable introduction to the scientific work discussed and the historical context (both scientific and social) in which it took place. Addressed to a "general audience," it deserves to have a wide one.... The author's own lucid style and accurate presentation translated into a smoothly flowing English make this book one which many, from college student to professional, will no doubt read with pleasure and learning."—Zentralblatt MATH

"The author discusses principal events in the history of science that deserve the attention of devotees of physics and mathematics. The discussion covers a time span of four centuries beginning with the sixteenth century.... The book is a lively account of the lives and achievements of scientists like Cardano, Tartaglia, Galileo, Huygens, Pascal and Gauss.... This book will be enjoyable reading for anyone interested in the history of science."—Mathematical Reviews

"[T]he work is engagingly written and will be enjoyed by those who love mathematics and physics. The rather mathematically sophisticated treatment of some sections will be heavy going for many American readers, but well worthwhile for those whose mastery of geometry and algebra is solid.... The book will be of particular interest to college students majoring in mathematics or physics and to high school students who are enthusiastic about mathematics…. Particularly suitable for the general collections of college libraries and for the libraries of superior high schools."—Choice

"[This is a] readable, informal set of biographical vignettes.... Aimed at the general reader with some background in mathematics, the book's style is to discuss the circumstances that surrounded these great scientists and to give insight into their contributions to science. The discoveries themselves are explained clearly in modern notation, without detailed heuristic discussion, which is appropriate for the casual reader; those needing more historical specificity can look elsewhere. The evolution of research and the dissemination of discoveries are followed and permit interesting comparison.... In sum, this collection is recommended, particularly for its insights."—Edward Paul, Science Books & Films

"Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists is a worthwhile book to read, especially for novices … . But it’s fun for everyone, and enlightening. … it’s especially pleasant to encounter old heroes again and, indeed, learn more about them – much more, in fact: this is serious scholarship and the mathematics is very good. And it would be an easy task to adapt Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists for use as a supplementary text in a course … . It’s a pleasure to recommend this book." (Michael Berg, MathDL, October, 2007)

From the reviews of the second edition:
"The text is based on various articles that appeared in the Soviet journal Quantum (Kvant). The presentation is mostly leisurely, and large parts of the book are accessible to talented high school students … . It is a wonderful book that I recommend to everyone interested in mathematics." (Franz Lemmermeyer, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1105 (7), 2007)


Product Description

This revised and greatly expanded second edition of the Russian text Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists contains a wealth of new information about the lives and accomplishments of more than a dozen scientists throughout five centuries of history: from the first steps in algebra up to new achievements in geometry in connection with physics. The heroes of the book are renowned figures from early eras, such as Cardano, Galileo, Huygens, Leibniz, Pascal, Euler, Lagrange, and Laplace, as well some scientists of last century: Klein, Poincaré, and Ramanujan.

A unique mixture of mathematics, physics, and history, this volume provides biographical glimpses of scientists and their contributions in the context of the social and political background of their times. The author examines many original sources, from the scientists’ research papers to their personal documents and letters to friends and family; furthermore, detailed mathematical arguments and diagrams are supplied to help explain some of the most significant discoveries in calculus, celestial mechanics, number theory, and mathematical physics. What emerges are intriguing, multifaceted studies of a number of remarkable intellectuals and their scientific legacy.

Written by a distinguished mathematician and accessible to readers at all levels, this book is a wonderful resource for both students and teachers and a welcome introduction to the history of science.


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Re: Tales of Mathematicians and Physicists

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