The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elementsby David Berlinski
Geometry defines the world around us, helping us make sense of everything from architecture to military science to fashion. And for over two thousand years, geometry has been equated with Euclid’s Elements, arguably the most influential book in the history of mathematics In The King of Infinite Space, renowned mathematics writer David Berlinski/i>/i>
Geometry defines the world around us, helping us make sense of everything from architecture to military science to fashion. And for over two thousand years, geometry has been equated with Euclid’s Elements, arguably the most influential book in the history of mathematics In The King of Infinite Space, renowned mathematics writer David Berlinski provides a concise homage to this elusive mathematician and his staggering achievements. Berlinski shows that, for centuries, scientists and thinkers from Copernicus to Newton to Einstein have relied on Euclid’s axiomatic system, a method of proof still taught in classrooms around the world. Euclid’s use of elemental logic—and the mathematical statements he and others built from it—have dramatically expanded the frontiers of human knowledge.
The King of Infinite Space presents a rich, accessible treatment of Euclid and his beautifully simple geometric system, which continues to shape the way we see the world.
- Basic Books
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are saying about this
“In this brief, accessible foray, popular math/science writer Berlinski breathes life into an ancient mathematician and the world of axioms and theorems he createda geometric world that became the basis for much of modern math, from analytic geometry to the idea of curved space-time . Even the most math-averse [will] be enthralled by Berlinski’s rich, vibrant language . Berlinski’s book succeeds not only as a history of geometry but also as an exploration of the power of ideas, masterfully replacing cold abstraction with humor and humanity.”
Booklist, Starred Review
“In writing at once geometrically precise and disarmingly conversational, Berlinski explores the imposing edifice that Euclid erected on a foundation of just five deceptively simple axioms . An impressively concise distillation of the wizardry that transforms points, lines, and planes into sheer genius.”
“A playful yet deep excursus through Euclid’s Elements, from veteran mathematician Berlinski. It is a pleasure to follow the author as he grasps the logistical tail of Euclid’s mathematics and follows it to this day . It is a profound investigation, as math was synthesized and refined and Euclid broke out with his axiomatic system as a way of seeing, a way of life . The author’s storytelling is clear, crisp and emotive, and he brings Euclid’s little-known life alive.”
Meet the Author
David Berlinski holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and France. The bestselling author of A Tour of the Calculus and Newton’s Gift, as well as many other books, he lives in Paris.
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I can't tell who the audience is for this haughtily written book. If you know a lot about geometry, and something about non-Euclidian geometry, you will at least be able to follow along, but this sketchy account will probably not add to your knowledge. If you are less knowledgeable, there is not enough here to help you much. In either case, you will have to endure the author's style, which seems intent on showing that he knows the subject, even though he is not going to put down enough to allow the reader to learn from him. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I