Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills

Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills

by Paul J. Nahin
     
 

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I used to think math was no fun
'Cause I couldn't see how it was done
Now Euler's my hero
For I now see why zero
Equals e[pi] i+1

--Paul Nahin, electrical engineer

In the mid-eighteenth century, Swiss-born mathematician Leonhard Euler developed

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Overview

I used to think math was no fun
'Cause I couldn't see how it was done
Now Euler's my hero
For I now see why zero
Equals e[pi] i+1

--Paul Nahin, electrical engineer

In the mid-eighteenth century, Swiss-born mathematician Leonhard Euler developed a formula so innovative and complex that it continues to inspire research, discussion, and even the occasional limerick. Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula shares the fascinating story of this groundbreaking formula--long regarded as the gold standard for mathematical beauty--and shows why it still lies at the heart of complex number theory.

This book is the sequel to Paul Nahin's An Imaginary Tale: The Story of I [the square root of -1], which chronicled the events leading up to the discovery of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one. Unlike the earlier book, which devoted a significant amount of space to the historical development of complex numbers, Dr. Euler begins with discussions of many sophisticated applications of complex numbers in pure and applied mathematics, and to electronic technology. The topics covered span a huge range, from a never-before-told tale of an encounter between the famous mathematician G. H. Hardy and the physicist Arthur Schuster, to a discussion of the theoretical basis for single-sideband AM radio, to the design of chase-and-escape problems.

The book is accessible to any reader with the equivalent of the first two years of college mathematics (calculus and differential equations), and it promises to inspire new applications for years to come. Or as Nahin writes in the book's preface: To mathematicians ten thousand years hence, "Euler's formula will still be beautiful and stunning and untarnished by time."

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Editorial Reviews

"Lisez Euler, lisez Euler, c'est notre maître à tous." (Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.) Pierre-Simon Laplace's tribute to Swiss-born mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-83) might stand as the gateway to this stand-alone sequel to An Imaginary Tale. With memorable anecdotes, author Paul Nahin introduces readers to numerous advanced applications of complex numbers in pure and applied mathematics and to electronic technology. His writing skills and obvious enthusiasm for his topics convey the deep aesthetics and clarity of mathematical discoveries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400838479
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/25/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
700,666
File size:
13 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are saying about this

Des Higham
The range and variety of topics covered here is impressive. I found many little gems that I have never seen before in books of this type. Moreover, the writing is lively and enthusiastic and the book is highly readable.
Des Higham, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Peter Pesic
If you ever wondered about the beauties and powers of mathematics, this book is a treasure trove. Paul Nahin uses Euler's formula as the magic key to unlock a wealth of surprising consequences, ranging from number theory to electronics, presented clearly, carefully, and with verve.
Peter Pesic, St. John's College

Meet the Author

Paul J. Nahin is the author of many best-selling popular math books, including "An Imaginary Tale", "Digital Dice", "Chases and Escapes", "When Least Is Best", "Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers", and "Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt" (all Princeton). He is professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

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