Numbers: A Very Short Introduction

Overview

Numbers are integral to our everyday lives and factor into almost everything we do. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter M. Higgins, a renowned popular-science writer, unravels the world of numbers, demonstrating its richness and providing an overview of all the number types that feature in modern science and mathematics. Indeed, Higgins paints a crystal-clear picture of the number world, showing how the modern number system matured over many centuries, and introducing key concepts such as integers, fractions, ...

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Numbers: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

Numbers are integral to our everyday lives and factor into almost everything we do. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter M. Higgins, a renowned popular-science writer, unravels the world of numbers, demonstrating its richness and providing an overview of all the number types that feature in modern science and mathematics. Indeed, Higgins paints a crystal-clear picture of the number world, showing how the modern number system matured over many centuries, and introducing key concepts such as integers, fractions, real and imaginary numbers, and complex numbers. Higgins sheds light on such fascinating topics as the series of primes, describing how primes are now used to encrypt confidential data on the internet. He also explores the infinite nature of number collections and explains how the so-called real numbers knit together to form the continuum of the number line. Written in the fashion of Higgins' highly popular science paperbacks, Numbers accurately explains the nature of numbers and how so-called complex numbers and number systems are used in calculations that arise in real problems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199584055
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 962,839
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter M. Higgins is Professor and Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Essex University. The author of five popular mathematics books, he is the inventor of Circular Sodoku.

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Table of Contents

1. How not to think about numbers: the trouble with bases
2. The unending series of primes
3. Perfect and not so perfect numbers
4. Cryptography: the secret life of the primes
5. Numbers that count
6. A peek below the waterline of the number iceberg
7. To infinity and beyond
8. Numbers but not as we know them
Further Reading
Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    fairly good

    This short introduction is'nt what I quite expected the reason for the less than perfect rating. It was a little too formal and theoretical, not dealing with the historical sense of numbers from a mor philosophicl perspective. I guess I'll have to wait for the history of mathematics to come out .All told it was interesting if you want to know what goes into mathe matical thinking and it' fomation.

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