By Robert Crease
Listed below are the tales of the 10 hottest 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. each one is an equation that captures with appealing simplicity what can in simple terms be defined clumsily in phrases. Euler's equation [eip + 1 = zero] used to be defined through respondents as 'the such a lot profound mathematic assertion ever written', 'uncanny and sublime', 'filled with cosmic good looks' and 'mind-blowing'. jointly those equations additionally quantity to the world's so much concise and trustworthy physique of data. Many scientists and people with a mathematical bent have a delicate spot for equations. This ebook explains either why those ten equations are so appealing and important, 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
This is so convenient a way to present scientific discovery, and so useful for textbooks, that it can be called the treasure-hunt picture of knowledge. It telescopes a difficult process and leaves us with an inventor, time, and place, and often a cause or purpose. An incident or moment, such as the fall of an apple, becomes a synecdoche that crystallizes the long discovery process. Generations of scholars then earn reputations criticizing the model and complicating this picture. The treasure-hunt picture is useful for everyone!
The diagonal suddenly casts the problem in a larger, richer context that makes the answer easier to see. It brings about a reformulation of the problem. Resuming his coaxing, Socrates now easily gets the slave boy to see that a square built on that diagonal is equal to twice the area of the first square. On the left is the first diagram drawn by Socrates. Socrates begins with a square 2 feet on a side and asks the slave boy how to double its size. The slave boy first suggests doubling the length of each side to 4 feet, but this quadruples the area of the square; then increasing the length of the side by one-and-a-half times (by 1 foot), but this, too, increases the area by too much, to 9 feet.
Crease 2008, 2009 The right of Robert P. Crease to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988. All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library.
A Brief Guide to the Great Equations: The Hunt for Cosmic Beauty in Numbers by Robert Crease