Most mathematicians' knowledge of Euclid's lost work on Porisms comes from a very brief and general description by Pappus of Alexandria. While Fermat and others made earlier attempts to explain the Porisms, it is Robert Simson who is generally recognised as the first person to achieve a genuine insight into the true nature of the subject. In this book, Ian Tweddle, a recognised authority on 18th century Scottish mathematics, presents for the first time a full and accessible translation of Simson's work. Based on Simson's early paper of 1723, the treatise, and various extracts from Simson's notebooks and correspondence, this book provides a fascinating insight into the work of an often-neglected figure. Supplemented by historical and mathematical notes and comments, this book is a valuable addition to the literature for anyone with an interest in mathematical history or geometry.
This radical, profoundly scholarly book explores the purposes and nature of proof in a range of historical settings. It overturns the view that the first mathematical proofs were in Greek geometry and rested on the logical insights of Aristotle by showing how much of that view is an artefact of nineteenth-century historical scholarship. It documents the existence of proofs in ancient mathematical writings about numbers and shows that practitioners of mathematics in Mesopotamian, Chinese and Indian cultures knew how to prove the correctness of algorithms, which are much more prominent outside the limited range of surviving classical Greek texts that historians have taken as the paradigm of ancient mathematics. It opens the way to providing the first comprehensive, textually based history of proof.
Henri Poincaré was one of the greatest mathematicians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He revolutionized the field of topology, which studies properties of geometric configurations that are unchanged by stretching or twisting. The Poincaré conjecture lies at the heart of modern geometry and topology, and even pertains to the possible shape of the universe. The conjecture states that there is only one shape possible for a finite universe in which every loop can be contracted to a single point. Poincaré's conjecture is one of the seven "millennium problems" that bring a one-million-dollar award for a solution. Grigory Perelman, a Russian mathematician, has offered a proof that is likely to win the Fields Medal, the mathematical equivalent of a Nobel prize, in August 2006. He also will almost certainly share a Clay Institute millennium award. In telling the vibrant story of The Poincaré Conjecture, Donal O'Shea makes accessible to general readers for the first time the meaning of the conjecture, and brings alive the field of mathematics and the achievements of generations of mathematicians whose work have led to Perelman's proof of this famous conjecture.
This book presents important works by the Scottish mathematician Colin MacLaurin (1698-1746), translated in English for the first time. It includes three of the mathematician’s less known and often hard to obtain works. A general introduction puts the works in context and gives an outline of MacLaurin's career. Each translation is also accompanied by an introduction and analyzed both in modern terms and from a historical point of view.
In this volume a team of distinguished contributors examines all the main aspects of Newton's thought.
Originally published in 1893, this book was significantly revised and extended by the author (second edition, 1919) to cover the history of mathematics from antiquity to the end of World War I. Since then, three more editions were published, and the current volume is a reproduction of the fifth edition (1991). The book covers the history of ancient mathematics (Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman, Chinese, Japanese, Mayan, Hindu, and Arabic, with a major emphasis on ancient Greek mathematics). The chapters that follow explore European mathematics in the Middle Ages and the mathematics of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries (Vieta, Decartes, Newton, Euler, and Lagrange). The last and longest chapter discusses major mathematics events of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Topics discussed in this chapter include synthetic and analytic geometry, algebra, analysis, the theory of functions, the theory of numbers, and others. In one concise volume, the author presents an interesting and reliable account of mathematics history. Cajori has mastered the art of incorporating an enormous amount of material into a smoothly flowing narrative. The review of the volume's third edition in Mathematical Reviews ends with the following words: "Chaque mathematicien devrait lire ce livre!"
A new translation makes this classic and important text more generally accessible. The text is placed in its contemporary context, but also related to the interests of practising mathematicians today. This book will be of interest to mathematical historians, researchers, and numerical analysts.
The mathematical methods employed by Newton in the Principia stimulated much debate among contemporaries. This book explains how Newton addressed these issues, taking into consideration the values that directed his research. It will be of interest to researchers and students in history and philosophy of science, physics, mathematics and astronomy.
The book records the essential discoveries of mathematical and computational scientists in chronological order, following the birth of ideas on the basis of prior ideas ad infinitum. The authors document the winding path of mathematical scholarship throughout history, and most importantly, the thought process of each individual that resulted in the mastery of their subject. The book implicitly addresses the nature and character of every scientist as one tries to understand their visible actions in both adverse and congenial environments. The authors hope that this will enable the reader to understand their mode of thinking, and perhaps even to emulate their virtues in life.
The only book that both describes and demonstrates every technique, skill and project. It provides accurate and detailed step-by-step guidance on the design and construction of a wide range of timber staircases. Simply Stairs features the 'Rise and Going Calculator' - a colorful, easy-to-read chart which aids stair calculations. Although this book uses metric units, users of the imperial system will still find this a handy guide."
Addressing a wide range of topics, from Newton to Post-Kuhnian philosophy of science, these essays critically examine themes that have been central to the influential work of philosopher Michael Friedman. Special focus is given to Friedman's revealing study of both history of science and philosophy in his work on Kant, Newton, Einstein, and other major figures. This interaction of history and philosophy is the subject of the editors' "manifesto" and serves to both explain and promote the essential ties between two disciplines usually regarded as unrelated.