New PDF release: A Brief Guide to the Great Equations: The Hunt for Cosmic

By Robert Crease

ISBN-10: 1845292812

ISBN-13: 9781845292812

Listed here are the tales of the 10 most well liked equations of all time as voted for through readers of "Physics World", together with - accessibly defined right here 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] used to be defined by way of respondents as 'the such a lot profound mathematic assertion ever written', 'uncanny and sublime', 'filled with cosmic attractiveness' and 'mind-blowing'. jointly those equations additionally quantity to the world's so much concise and trustworthy physique of information. Many scientists and people with a mathematical bent have a gentle spot for equations. This e-book explains either why those ten equations are so attractive and demanding, and the human tales in the back of them.

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Extra resources for A Brief Guide to the Great Equations: The Hunt for Cosmic Beauty in Numbers

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This is the key moment! Socrates has, first, gotten the boy to see the limits of his knowledge – what he doesn’t know – and, second, dismantled the slave boy’s confidence. The boy had assumed that he knew, and now knows that he doesn’t know. It’s not true, of course, that the slave boy knows nothing. He knows a lot – that the answer to Socrates’ question lies in a narrow range, more than one but less than one and a half times the side. But the boy also knows more than he can say, and the knowing without being able to say doesn’t feel good to him now.

They may think that Socrates is pulling the strings, playing with the slave’s head, getting the slave just to mouth the words. Modern readers are apt to find the idea of learning as recollection absurd, and think that real learning involves downloading new information into a person’s brain to be reinforced with homework and exercises. But if we read Plato carefully, we see that the slave is really learning – learning reduced to its elementals, as Socrates makes sure every new point emerges from the slave’s own experience.

Fraser offers to ‘prove Pythagoras’, and Duke, delighted, promptly bets him he can’t. I did it with a bayonet, on the earth beside my pit – which may have been how Pythagoras himself did it originally, for all I know. I went wrong once, having forgotten where to drop the perpendicular, but in the end there it was, and the Duke’s satisfaction was such that I went on, flown with success, to prove that an angle at the centre of a circle is twice an angle at the circumference. 3 And Albert Einstein wrote in an autobiographical essay of the ‘wonder’ and ‘indescribable impression’ left by his first encounter with Euclidean plane geometry as a child, when he proved the Pythagorean theorem for himself based on the similarity of triangles.

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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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