Students and puzzle enthusiasts will get plenty of enjoyment plus some painless mathematical instruction from 28 conundrums, including The Curve That Shook the World, Space Travel in a Wineglass, and Through Cantor's Looking Glass.
75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy
Author: Matt Cook
Pubpsher: MIT Press
Exploring more than seventy-five well-known paradoxes in mathematics, philosophy, physics, and the social sciences showing how reason and logic can dispel the illusion of contradiction. Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn't require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words and concepts and symbols, to create the illusion of contradiction. There are no contradictions in reality, but there can appear to be. In Sleight of Mind, Matt Cook and a few collaborators dive deeply into more than 75 paradoxes in mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the social sciences. As each paradox is discussed and resolved, Cook helps readers discover the meaning of knowledge and the proper formation of concepts—and how reason can dispel the illusion of contradiction. The journey begins with “a most ingenious paradox” from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Readers will then travel from Ancient Greece to cutting-edge laboratories, encounter infinity and its different sizes, and discover mathematical impossibilities inherent in elections. They will tackle conundrums in probability, induction, geometry, and game theory; perform “supertasks”; build apparent perpetual motion machines; meet twins living in different millennia; explore the strange quantum world—and much more.
Stimulating, thought-provoking analysis of the most interesting intellectual inconsistencies in mathematics, physics, and language, including being led astray by algebra (De Morgan's paradox). 1982 edition.
Do you think "math = awesome" is a true statement? After reading this book, you might change your answer to a yes. With "jargon avoidance" in mind, this recreational math book gives you the lowdown on why math is fun, interesting and relevant in today's society. Intended for anyone who is curious about math and where it is circa 2010. This book is less concerned with exploring the mathematical details than it is with exploring the overall impact of various discoveries and insights, and aims to be insightful, cutting edge-y and mathematically rigorous.
Classic Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Problems : Number Theory, Algebra, Geometry, Probability, Topology, Game Theory, Infinity, and Other Topics of Recreational Mathematics
Author: Martin Gardner
Pubpsher: W. W. Norton & Company
Category: Games & Activities
The author presents a selection of pieces from his Scientific American "Mathematical Games" column, presenting puzzles and concepts that range from arithmetic and geometrical games to the meaning of M.C. Escher's artwork.
Using Ambiguity, Contradiction, and Paradox to Create Mathematics
Author: William Byers
Pubpsher: Princeton University Press
To many outsiders, mathematicians appear to think like computers, grimly grinding away with a strict formal logic and moving methodically--even algorithmically--from one black-and-white deduction to another. Yet mathematicians often describe their most important breakthroughs as creative, intuitive responses to ambiguity, contradiction, and paradox. A unique examination of this less-familiar aspect of mathematics, How Mathematicians Think reveals that mathematics is a profoundly creative activity and not just a body of formalized rules and results. Nonlogical qualities, William Byers shows, play an essential role in mathematics. Ambiguities, contradictions, and paradoxes can arise when ideas developed in different contexts come into contact. Uncertainties and conflicts do not impede but rather spur the development of mathematics. Creativity often means bringing apparently incompatible perspectives together as complementary aspects of a new, more subtle theory. The secret of mathematics is not to be found only in its logical structure. The creative dimensions of mathematical work have great implications for our notions of mathematical and scientific truth, and How Mathematicians Think provides a novel approach to many fundamental questions. Is mathematics objectively true? Is it discovered or invented? And is there such a thing as a "final" scientific theory? Ultimately, How Mathematicians Think shows that the nature of mathematical thinking can teach us a great deal about the human condition itself.
You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama) without ever realising that they contain enough maths to form an entire university course. In The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, Simon Singh explains how the brilliant writers, some of the mathematicians, have smuggled in mathematical jokes throughout the cartoon's twenty-five year history, exploring everything from to Mersenne primes, from Euler's equation to the unsolved riddle of P vs. NP, from perfect numbers to narcissistic numbers, and much more. With wit, clarity and a true fan's zeal, Singh analyses such memorable episodes as 'Bart the Genius' and 'Homer3' to offer an entirely new insight into the most successful show in television history.
Release on 1986 | by Gabor J. Szekely,Gabor J Sza(c)Kely
Author: Gabor J. Szekely,Gabor J Sza(c)Kely
It isn't that they can't see the solution. Approach your problems from the right end and begin with the answers. It is that they can't see the problem. Then one day, perhaps you will find G. K. Chesterton. The Scandal of the final question. Father Brown 'The point of a Pin'. 'The Hermit Clad in Crane Feathers' in R. van Gulik's The Chinese Maze Murders. Growing specialization and diversification have brought a host of mono graphs and textbooks on increasingly specialized topics. However, the "tree" of knowledge of mathematics and related fields does not grow only by putting forth new branches. It also happens, quite often in fact, that branches which were thought to be completely disparate are suddenly seen to be related. Further, the kind and level of sophistication of mathematics applied in various sciences has changed drastically in recent years: measure theory is used (nontrivially) in regional and theoretical economics; algebraic geometry interacts with physics; the Minkowski lemma, coding theory and the structure of water meet one another in packing and covering theory; quantum fields, crystal defects and mathematical programming profit from homotopy theory; Lie algebras are relevant to filtering; and prediction and electrical engineering can use Stein spaces. And in addition to this there are such new emerging subdisciplines as "experi mental mathematics", "CFD", "completely integrable systems", "chaos, synergetics and large-scale order", which are almost impossible to fit into the existing classification schemes.
One thing this book is not is a tightly-reasoned argument that leads the reader inevitably to the books main thesis. It is rather, like its cover, a collage. It is a hundredmore or less observations into what is deep and meaningful in life, the reality around us, that gives the impression that reality is in fact a paradox, a friendly paradox. The book looks at theology, baseball, mathematics and the Bible. And it talks a lot about particle physics and quantum mechanics. Youll notice that it fails to mention rock stars and reality TV.