xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, ...no solution"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." With these words, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Pierre de Fermat threw down the gauntlet to future generations. What came to be known as Fermat's Last Theorem looked simple; proving it, however, became the Holy Grail of mathematics, baffling its finest minds for more than 350 years. In Fermat's Enigma--based on the author's award-winning documentary film, which aired on PBS's "Nova"--Simon Singh tells the astonishingly entertaining story of the pursuit of that grail, and the lives that were devoted to, sacrificed for, and saved by it. Here is a mesmerizing tale of heartbreak and mastery that will forever change your feelings about mathematics.
Ronald W. Clark's definitive biography of Einstein, the Promethean figure of our age, goes behind the phenomenal intellect to reveal the human side of the legendary absent-minded professor who confidently claimed that space and time were not what they seemed.
Here is the classic portrait of the scientist and the man: the boy growing up in the Swiss Alps, the young man caught in an unhappy first marriage, the passionate pacifist who agonized over making The Bomb, the indifferent Zionist asked to head the Israeli state, the physicist who believed in God.
Contains more than 1000 original technical illustrations, a multitude of reproductions from mathematical classics and other relevant works, and a generous sprinkling of humorous asides, ranging from limericks and tall stories to cartoons and decorative drawings.
In Visions, physicist and author Michio Kaku examines the great scientific revolutions that have dramatically reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum mechanics, biogenetics, and artificial intelligence--and shows how they will change and alter science and the way we live.The next century will witness more far-reaching scientific revolutions, as we make the transition from unraveling the secrets of nature to becoming masters of nature. We will no longer be passive bystanders to the dance of the universe, but will become creative choreographers of matter, life, and intelligence. The first section of Visions presents a shocking look at a cyber-world infiltrated by millions of tiny intelligence systems. Part two illustrates how the decoding of DNA's genetic structure will allow humans the "godlike ability to manipulate life almost at will." Finally, VISIONS focuses on the future of quantum physics, in which physicists will perfect new ways to manipulate matter and harness the cosmic energy of the universe. What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the science of the future so compelling--and so different from the mere forecasts of most thinkers--is that it is based on the groundbreaking research taking place in labs today, as well as the consensus of over 150 of Kaku's scientific colleagues. Science, for all its breathtaking change, evolves slowly; we can accurately predict, asserts Kaku, what the direction of science will be, based on the paths that are being forged today. A thrilling, unique narrative that brings together the thinking of many of the world's most accomplished scientists to explore the world of the future, Visions is science writing at its best.
This sharply intelligent, consistently provocative book takes the reader on an astonishing, thought-provoking voyage into the realm of delightful uncertainty--a world of paradox in which logical argument leads to contradiction and common sense is seemingly rendered irrelevant.
Chaos surrounds us. Seemingly random events -- the flapping of a flag, a storm-driven wave striking the shore, a pinball's path -- often appear to have no order, no rational pattern. Explicating the theory of chaos and the consequences of its principal findings -- that actual, precise rules may govern such apparently random behavior -- has been a major part of the work of Edward N. Lorenz. In The Essence of Chaos, Lorenz presents to the general reader the features of this "new science," with its far-reaching implications for much of modern life, from weather prediction to philosophy, and he describes its considerable impact on emerging scientific fields.
Unlike the phenomena dealt with in relativity theory and quantum mechanics, systems that are now described as "chaotic" can be observed without telescopes or microscopes. They range from the simplest happenings, such as the falling of a leaf, to the most complex processes, like the fluctuations of climate. Each process that qualifies, however, has certain quantifiable characteristics: how it unfolds depends very sensitively upon its present state, so that, even though it is not random, it seems to be. Lorenz uses examples from everyday life, and simple calculations, to show how the essential nature of chaotic systems can be understood. In order to expedite this task, he has constructed a mathematical model of a board sliding down a ski slope as his primary illustrative example. With this model as his base, he explains various chaotic phenomena, including some associated concepts such as strange attractors and bifurcations.
As a meteorologist, Lorenz initially became interested in the field of chaos because of its implications for weather forecasting. In a chapter ranging through the history of weather prediction and meteorology to a brief picture of our current understanding of climate, he introduces many of the researchers who conceived the experiments and theories, and he describes his own initial encounter with chaos.
A further discussion invites readers to make their own chaos. Still others debate the nature of randomness and its relationship to chaotic systems, and describe three related fields of scientific thought: nonlinearity, complexity, and fractality. Appendixes present the first publication of Lorenz's seminal paper "Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wing in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?"; the mathematical equations from which the copious illustrations were derived; and a glossary.
The history and concepts of physics, including quantum mechanics and relativity theory, are viewed within the framework of Eastern thought to unravel the mysteries of the physical universe
In this stimulating and timely book, Amit Goswami, PhD, shatters the widely popular belief held by Western science that matter is the primary "stuff" of creation and proposes instead that consciousness is the true foundation of all we know and perceive.His explanation of quantum physics for lay readers, called "a model of clarity" by Kirkus Reviews, sets the stage for a voyage of discovery through the common ground of science and religion, the entwined nature of mind and body, and our interconnectedness with all of creation.
An expert on sociobiology and biodiversity argues for the fundamental unity of all knowledge in the face of the increasing fragmentation and specialization of knowledge over the past two centuries
And yet the idea of innate limits--of biology as destiny--dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by Stephen Jay Gould. In this edition Dr. Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."