The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars: An Exhibition of Surprising Structures across Dimensions

The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars: An Exhibition of Surprising Structures across Dimensions

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by Clifford A. Pickover
     
 

"A refreshing new look at a timeless topic, brimming over with ideas, littered with surprising twists. Anyone who loves numbers, anyone who enjoys puzzles, will find The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars compulsive (and compulsory!) reading."—Ian Stewart, University of Warwick, author of Flatterland and Does God Play Dice?

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Overview

"A refreshing new look at a timeless topic, brimming over with ideas, littered with surprising twists. Anyone who loves numbers, anyone who enjoys puzzles, will find The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars compulsive (and compulsory!) reading."—Ian Stewart, University of Warwick, author of Flatterland and Does God Play Dice?

"Pickcover carries the mystique of magic squares and their relatives into the twenty-first century with his new book, The Zen of Magic Squares, Circles, and Stars. Whether you're seeking an introduction to magic squares, an in-depth study, some historical information, or just some enjoyable magic figure problems, tricks, properties, or novelties-this book is for you. Pickover does not leave a magic square unturned, and tantalizes us just enough to want to explore further. From the very famous to the less known, Pickover brings them all together in this amazing collection as he points out their roles in science, our lives and the universe."—Theoni Pappas author of The Joy of Mathematics and Math-A-Day

"At first glance magic squares may seem frivolous (Ben Franklin's opinion, even as he spent countless hours studying them!), but I think that is wrong. The great nineteenth-century German mathematician Leopold Kronecker said 'God Himself made the whole numbers—everything else is the work of men,' and Cliff Pickover's stimulating book hints strongly at the possibility that God may have done more with the integers than just create them. I don't believe in magic in the physical world, but magic squares come as close as we will probably ever see to being mathematical magic."—Paul J. Nahin, University of New Hampshire, author of Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers

"Clifford Pickover has compiled such a wonderfully voluminous collection of magic squares and related configurations that the physical book itself threatens to take the shape of a magic cube. Whether or not you achieve arithmetical satori contemplating these engagingly intricate patterns, you will surely come to appreciate their history, beauty, and richness."—John Allen Paulos, Temple University, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

"Who would have thought that the simple numbers we used when learning to count as children could be arranged into so many geometric patterns with interesting properties? If playing with numbers is your thing, this latest work by Cliff Pickover will provide you will countless hours of mystical entertainment and mental challenges."—Julien Clinton Sprott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Every generation seems to demand its own updated book dedicated to magic squares. Pickover's work meets the needs of the present generation. It is an enthusiastic, whimsical, and idiosyncratic compendium of magic squares and their variants, some of which are centuries old, some as fresh as corn picked this morning."—Sherman Stein, University of California, Davis

"Well documented and illustrated, this book is essentially a huge catalogue of these arithmetical beasts called magic squares. No book that I know of presents such a large range of 'mysterious, odd, and fun' patterns, as the author puts it. This includes the numerous geometrical diagrams that reveal some hidden symmetries not obvious to the eye contemplating the number arrays. Throughout, Pickover convincingly substantiates his claim that the field of magic square study is still wide open."—Arturo Sangalli, author of The Importance of Being Fuzzy

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691115979
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/29/2003
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.01(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xix

Introduction 1

CHAPTER ONE: Magic Construction 37

CHAPTER TWO: Classification 65

CHAPTER THREE: Gallery I : Squares, Cubes, and Tesseracts 147

CHAPTER FOUR: Gallery 2: Circles and Spheres 297

CHAPTER FIVE: Gallery 3: Stars, Hexagons, and Other Beauties 325

Some Final Thoughts 369

Notes 375

For Further Reading 395

Index 397

About the Author 403

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