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Five Equations That Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics

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In Five Equations That Changed the World, Dr. Michael Guillen, known to millions as the Science Editor on ABC-TV's Good Morning America, tells the amazing stories of the people and discoveries that led to the five most powerful and important scientific achievements in human history. In doing so, Dr. Guillen reveals in simple, everyday language the secret world of mathematics. It was through the brilliance of these five fascinating people: a sickly love-starved loner; an emotionally abused prodigy from a ...
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Overview

In Five Equations That Changed the World, Dr. Michael Guillen, known to millions as the Science Editor on ABC-TV's Good Morning America, tells the amazing stories of the people and discoveries that led to the five most powerful and important scientific achievements in human history. In doing so, Dr. Guillen reveals in simple, everyday language the secret world of mathematics. It was through the brilliance of these five fascinating people: a sickly love-starved loner; an emotionally abused prodigy from a dysfunctional family; a religious, poverty-stricken illiterate; a soft-spoken widower living in perilous times; and a smart-alecky high-school dropout - that we were able to harness the power of electricity, fly in airplanes, land astronauts on the moon, build a nuclear bomb, and understand the mortality of all life on Earth.

From the popular science editor of ABC's Good Morning America, this is the story behind five mathematical equations that have shaped the modern world. As told by Dr. Guillen, the stories behind the creation of these formulas are not only chronicles of science, but also gripping dramas of jealousy, fame, war, and discovery. Author media.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harvard mathematician Guillen looks at five mathematical breakthroughs and the theorists behind them, among them Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Guillen, an instructor in physics and mathematics at Harvard, devotes this work to discussions of five significant equations in physics and the individuals who developed them. The individuals are Issac Newton (universal gravitation), Daniel Bernoulli (hydrodynamic pressure), Michael Faraday (thermodynamics), Rudolf Clausius (thermodynamics), and Albert Einstein (special relativity). Guillen sets their work in the context of the science of their times with accounts that are obviously fictionalized, containing many purported conversations and private thoughts of the physicists in question. The prose is quite purplish in places, and the matters of fact and interpretation are often questionable if not outright wrong. Not recommended for most libraries.-Jack W. Weigel, Univ. of Michigan Lib., Ann Arbor
Alan Hirsch
Take one part each of natural philosophy, biography, and historical novel, mix together, and you have this adventure through two centuries of changing scientific thought. Guillen chooses Newton's universal law of gravitation, Bernoulli's law of fluid flow pressure, Faraday's law relating electricity and magnetism, Clausius' law of constantly increasing entropy, and Einstein's law relating mass and energy, and in each instance discusses the common beliefs (often dominated by religious thinking) of the time, follows that with a short account of the scientist and his discovery, and ends by considering the effect of the discovery on the future. Newton's inquiry leads to a heliocentric solar system and to space travel, Faraday's to the generation of electricity and the electric motor, Bernoulli's to the airplane, etc. Far from being dauntingly technical, Guillen's presentations show how each man overcame significant obstacles and changed the world. He is a good storyteller who will enlighten many about aspects of these five equations that even many an erstwhile engineering student does not know.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567314052
  • Publisher: MJF Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.59 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    a baffling equation

    For those of us who enjoys physics and mathematics this is simplicity in all its form nevertheless, the book was enjoyable and digested well. I recommend this book for the younger population not excluding those other age groups who likes to play around with science and challenge their minds. With the advent of TV, computers, etc. the worlds youth have been losing its edge on thinking and becoming more lackadaisical in terms of challenging oneself as those individuals done in the past. These individuals were true thinkers and philosophers who were not plagued by endless trivia of everyday stress and present day life styles. A good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2003

    Science at its best!

    Reveals the human side of science and mathematics by highlighting the very real-world challenges that were overcome by these five men. The author personalizes the context in which these highly inquisitive and determined individuals overcame many challenges to provide the world with the keys to technological advancement. The book is a quick read and an interesting adventure. The author puts the reader right in the middle of these discoveries, as they are being made. Once finished, you'll feel like Isaac, Daniel, Michael, Rudolf, and Albert are all old friends with whom you have shared a special part of life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2001

    Five Equations that Changed the World

    I definitely recommend this book. It is affordable and easily worth it. The book is mainly about physics and chemistry. Each chapter is about a totally different scientist/philospher's life. What's very interesting about this book is that the author gets very deep within the scientist/philospher's personal life. He explains theories very well such as Bernoulli's principle and Newton's theories of gravity. Also, what's very interesting is the fact that Guillen, the author, mixes the book with theology (fascinating.) In conclusion I rate this book an easy 5 star, if I could I would rate it 6 star!!! Definitely go for this book if you are interested in the subject of science.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2000

    Analysis of ' The Five Equations - - - '

    A great effort by Mr Michael Gullien . I feel this book will create intrest among the dry subject of Mathematics. It must be wecomed by the readers community.

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