That's Maths II: A Ton of Wonders

That's Maths II: A Ton of Wonders

by Peter Lynch


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This collection of mathematical articles covers a broad range of delightful topics in pure and applied mathematics. It is written in an expository style, making it accessible to everyone with a general interest in mathematics.

There are articles about renowned mathematicians and about the history of some key ideas in maths. The importance of mathematics in the modern world is illustrated by applications in engineering, technology, astronomy,
music and the visual arts.

Reading mathematics is best done in small steps. The articles are all short, and they can be read in arbitrary order. Some articles are purely descriptive. Others go deeper and are at a more advanced mathematical level.

Approximately half the articles have appeared in the author's regular column "That's Maths" in The Irish Times. Others have been posted to his mathematical blog, All articles have been fully revised for this book. This is the second collection under the rubric
"That's Maths". The first collection, published in 2016, was very favourably reviewed.

The author has succeeded in bringing out the amazing beauty of mathematics and its utility in so many areas of our lives. The book should be appreciated by anyone with an interest in mathematics and science. In particular, teachers of these subjects, at both school and university level, should find a wealth of material to supplement and invigorate their classes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781716507991
Publication date: 11/16/2020
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Peter Lynch is passionate about all things mathematical. He graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) in 1968 with a first class honours in mathematical science. The following year he was awarded an M.Sc. by UCD. Much of Peter's career was spent with the Irish Meteorological Service, where he worked developing models for weather prediction. In 1982 he was awarded a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, for research in dynamical meteorology. He later became Head of Research and then Deputy Directer of Met Eireann. Peter carried out extensive research on the development of computer weather forecasting. In 2006 he completed a monograph, "The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson's Dream", which was published by Cambridge University Press. Peter moved to UCD in 2004 as Professor of Meteorology in the School of Mathematics. He is now an emeritus professor in the School. Since retiring he has written extensively about mathematics. His first mathematical collection, "That's Maths: The Mathematical Magic in Everyday Life", was published by Gill Books in 2016. He writes a regular mathematical column in The Irish Times and maintains a mathematical blog, "". His professional website is at Peter is a keen walker. Over a thirteen-year period, he completed a walk around the coastal counties of Ireland. This is described in his book "Rambling Round Ireland: A Commodius Vicus of Recirculation", published in 2010 by The Liffey Press. Peter is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. Logic Press publishes mathematical books and books related to Mathematics.

Table of Contents

1 Lateral Thinking in Maths, 2 Leopold Bloom's Attempt to Square the Circle, 3 From Alexandria to Antarctica, 4 Frank Nelson Cole's Lecture Sans Paroles, 5 The Empty Set is Nothing to Worry About, 6 Numbers with Nines, 7 The Root of Infinity: It's Surreal!, 8 The Mathematics of Voting, 9 Prime Number Record Smashed Again, 10 Franc-carreau=Fair-square, 11 The Ninth Planet?, 12 Bertrand's Paradox, 13 1729: An Interesting Number, 14 Prime Number Generating Formulae, 15 Squircles, 16 Who will be the next Hamilton?, 17 Random Harmonic Series, 18 Can Mathematics Keep Us Secure?, 19 A Toy Example of RSA Encryption, 20 The Greatest Unsolved Problem of Mathematics, 21 A Singularly Valuable Decomposition, 22 Slicing Doughnuts, 23 Heron's Theorem: a Tool for Surveyors, 24 The Beginning of Modern Mathematics, 25 Variations on Cantor's Ternary Set, 26 Venn Again's Awake, 27 Negative Number Names, 28 Thank Heaven for Turbulence, 29 Kepler's Magnificent Mysterium Cosmographicum, 30 Napier's Marvellous Logarithms, 31 Taylor Expansions from India, 32 The Shaky Foundations of Mathematics, 33 Raphael Bombelli's Psychedelic Leap, 34 Twenty Heads in Succession: How Long will we Wait?, 35 The Library of Babel and the Information Explosion, 36 Voronoi Diagrams: Simple but Powerful, 37 On Knots and Links, 38 Brun's Constant and the Pentium Bug, 39 Enigmas of Infinity, 40 Numerical Coincidences, 41 Patterns in Poetry, Music and Morse, 42 Torricelli's Trumpet & the Painter's Paradox, 43 Dividends and Divisors Ever Diminishing, 44 Trigonometric Comfort-Blankets on Mountain-Tops, 45 Tides: a Tug-of-War between Earth, Moon and Sun, 46 Grandi's Series: Divergent but Summable, 47 Grandi's Series: A Second Look, 48 Who Uses Maths?!, 49 The Miraculous Spiral on Booterstown Strand, 50 Listing the Rationals I: Farey Sequences, 51 Euler's "Degree of Agreeableness" for Musical Chords, 52 Flight of the Bumblebee, 53 Automatic Face Recognition, 54 A Zero-Order Front, 55 Listing the Rationals II: The Stern-Brocot Tree, 56 Tom Lehrer: Comical Musical Mathematical Genius, 57 Modern Uses of Quaternions, 58 Johannes Kepler and the Song of the Earth, 59 The Two Envelopes: Paradox or Fallacy, 60 Listing the Rationals III: The Calkin-Wilf Tree, 61 Hearing Harmony, Seeing Symmetry, 62 Robert Murphy, a "Brilliant Meteor", 63 Quadrivium: The Noble Fourfold Way, 64 A Ton of Wonders,

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