Mathematical Constants / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $50.12
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 67%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $50.12   
  • New (3) from $79.12   
  • Used (7) from $50.12   


Steven Finch provides 136 essays, each devoted to a mathematical constant or a class of constants, from the well known to the highly exotic. This book is helpful both to readers seeking information about a specific constant, and to readers who desire a panoramic view of all constants coming from a particular field, for example, combinatorial enumeration or geometric optimization. Unsolved problems appear virtually everywhere as well. This work represents an outstanding scholarly attempt to bring together all significant mathematical constants in one place.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Enormous fun, and you don't even have to follow any difficult arguments; a treasure-trove for the mathematical beachcomber."
The Mathematical Gazette

"I think all mathematicians should own this book...there are sections where the author conveys admirably his excitement over some unexpected and beautiful sequence of ideas. I pay the author the earnest compliment of stating that nearly every page in the book is an adventure."
The Mathematical Intelligencer

"Very accessible...The author's clear and engaging style makes the book a pleasure to read."
MAA Reviews

"This is a very useful book...The emphasis is on the mathematical origin of the constants and their interrelationships. The aim is always to be clear and complete, to motivate why a particular constant or idea is important, and to indicate exactly where in the literature one should look for rigorous proofs and further elaboration. This book should be in each mathematical library."
Monatshefte für Mathematik

"I consider this book to be an essential component of all mathematical libraries. I have placed it on my 'within the grasp' shelf and have strongly recommended to the college library that it be added to the reference collection."
Charles Ashbacher,

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface; Notation; 1. Well-known constants; 2. Constants associated with number theory; 3. Constants associated with analytic inequalities; 4. Constants associated with the approximation of functions; 5. Constants associated with enumerating discrete structures; 6. Constants associated with functional iteration; 7. Constants associated with complex analysis; 8. Constants associated with geometry; Table; Index.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2003

    An Instant Classic

    This is an instant classic of mathematical exposition, a superb addition to the series Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Its Applications. Steven Finch's engaging style and lucid, self-contained essays on an amazing variety of topics will appeal to a wide audience. Beginners and experts alike will find a treasure trove of stories, unexpected appearances of numbers, connections between different subjects, and unsolved problems (e.g., if x is the square root of 2, is the tower of powers x^ x^x irrational?). From the Preface: 'Material about well- known constants appears early and carefully, for the sake of readers without much mathematical background.' The well-known constants include Pythagoras' square root of 2, the Golden Mean, Euler's e and gamma, Archimedes' pi, Apery's zeta(3), Catalan's G, Khintchine's K, Feigenbaum's delta, Madelung's M, and Chaitin's Omega. There are chapters on constants associated with the fields of number theory, real and complex analysis, approximation of functions, enumeration of discrete structures (some from physics), functional iteration (e.g., paper folding), and geometry. A Table of Constants in decimal form directs the reader to sections of the book. Many sections have extensive lists of references, and Finch indicates exactly where in the literature one should look for rigorous proofs and further elaboration. Author and Subject Indexes complement each other. More than sixty figures illuminate the text. This book shows the mysterious ubiquity and 'unreasonable effectiveness' of certain universal constants. Anyone interested in mathematics will benefit from reading it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)