From 0 to Infinity in 26 Centuries: The Extraordinary Story of Maths

Chris Waring - 2012
    Book by Waring, Chris

The Story of Mathematics

Anne Rooney - 2008
    Topics include the development of counting and numbers systems, the emergence of zero, cultures that don’t have numbers, algebra, solid geometry, symmetry and beauty, perspective, riddles and problems, calculus, mathematical logic, friction force and displacement, subatomic particles, and the expansion of the universe. Great mathematical thinkers covered include Napier, Liu Hui, Aryabhata, Galileo, Newton, Russell, Einstein, Riemann, Euclid, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Charles Babbage, Montmort, Wittgenstein, and many more. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout in full color.

The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction and Statistical Inference

Ian Hacking - 1975
    A philosophical study of the early ideas about probability, induction and statistical inference, covering the period 1650-1705.

The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction

Eric Scerri - 2011
    Scerri looks at the trends in properties of elements that led to the construction of the periodic table, and how the deeper meaning of its structure gradually became apparent with the development of atomic theory and quantum mechanics, so that physics arguably came to colonize an entirely different science, chemistry.

Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling

Thomas Hager - 1995
    He decried the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War Two, agitated against nuclear weapons, promoted vitamin C as a cure for the common cold and researched the idea of DNA.

The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg

Robert P. Crease - 2008
    Crease tells the stories behind ten of the greatest equations in human history. Was Nobel laureate Richard Feynman really joking when he called Maxwell's electromagnetic equations the most significant event of the nineteenth century? How did Newton's law of gravitation influence young revolutionaries? Why has Euler's formula been called "God's equation," and why did a mysterious ecoterrorist make it his calling card? What role do betrayal, insanity, and suicide play in the second law of thermodynamics?The Great Equations tells the stories of how these equations were discovered, revealing the personal struggles of their ingenious originators. From "1 + 1 = 2" to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Crease locates these equations in the panoramic sweep of Western history, showing how they are as integral to their time and place of creation as are great works of art.

The Calculus Gallery: Masterpieces from Newton to Lebesgue

William Dunham - 2004
    This book charts its growth and development by sampling from the work of some of its foremost practitioners, beginning with Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the late seventeenth century and continuing to Henri Lebesgue at the dawn of the twentieth--mathematicians whose achievements are comparable to those of Bach in music or Shakespeare in literature. William Dunham lucidly presents the definitions, theorems, and proofs. Students of literature read Shakespeare; students of music listen to Bach, he writes. But this tradition of studying the major works of the masters is, if not wholly absent, certainly uncommon in mathematics. This book seeks to redress that situation. Like a great museum, The Calculus Gallery is filled with masterpieces, among which are Bernoulli's early attack upon the harmonic series (1689), Euler's brilliant approximation of pi (1779), Cauchy's classic proof of the fundamental theorem of calculus (1823), Weierstrass's mind-boggling counterexample (1872), and Baire's original category theorem (1899). Collectively, these selections document the evolution of calculus from a powerful but logically chaotic subject into one whose foundations are thorough, rigorous, and unflinching--a story of genius triumphing over some of the toughest, most subtle problems imaginable. Anyone who has studied and enjoyed calculus will discover in these pages the sheer excitement each mathematician must have felt when pushing into the unknown. In touring The Calculus Gallery, we can see how it all came to be.

A Short History of Chemistry (Science Study)

Isaac Asimov - 1975
    From the use of metals by prehistoric man to the alchemical experiments of medieval and renaissance man to the complex chemical skills of contemporary man, Asimov traces the development of this building block of our technological world.


Constance Bowman Reid - 1970
    These noteworthy accounts of the lives of David Hilbert and Richard Courant are closely related: Courant's story is, in many ways, seen as the sequel to the story of Hilbert. Originally published to great acclaim, both books explore the dramatic scientific history expressed in the lives of these two great scientists and described in the lively, nontechnical writing style of Contance Reid.

Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry

Patrick Coffey - 2008
    They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis.Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch.Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

The History of Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction

Jacqueline A. Stedall - 2012
    Historian Jacqueline Stedall shows that mathematical ideas are far from being fixed, but are adapted and changed by their passage across periods and cultures. The book illuminates some of the varied contexts in which people have learned, used, and handed on mathematics, drawing on fascinating case studies from a range of times and places, including early imperial China, the medieval Islamic world, and nineteenth-century Britain. By drawing out some common threads, Stedall provides an introduction not only to the mathematics of the past but to the history of mathematics as a modern academic discipline.

Curie and Radioactivity

Paul Strathern - 1999
    A biography of the first family of radioactivity, focuses on their ground-breaking contributions to science, including the discovery of radium.

Enlightening Symbols: A Short History of Mathematical Notation and Its Hidden Powers

Joseph Mazur - 2014
    What did mathematicians rely on for their work before then? And how did mathematical notations evolve into what we know today? In Enlightening Symbols, popular math writer Joseph Mazur explains the fascinating history behind the development of our mathematical notation system. He shows how symbols were used initially, how one symbol replaced another over time, and how written math was conveyed before and after symbols became widely adopted.Traversing mathematical history and the foundations of numerals in different cultures, Mazur looks at how historians have disagreed over the origins of the numerical system for the past two centuries. He follows the transfigurations of algebra from a rhetorical style to a symbolic one, demonstrating that most algebra before the sixteenth century was written in prose or in verse employing the written names of numerals. Mazur also investigates the subconscious and psychological effects that mathematical symbols have had on mathematical thought, moods, meaning, communication, and comprehension. He considers how these symbols influence us (through similarity, association, identity, resemblance, and repeated imagery), how they lead to new ideas by subconscious associations, how they make connections between experience and the unknown, and how they contribute to the communication of basic mathematics.From words to abbreviations to symbols, this book shows how math evolved to the familiar forms we use today.

The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics

David Harriman - 2010
    Inspired by and expanding on a series of lectures presented by Leonard Peikoff, David Harriman presents a fascinating answer to the problem of induction-the epistemological question of how we can know the truth of inductive generalizations.Ayn Rand presented her revolutionary theory of concepts in her book Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. As Dr. Peikoff subsequently explored the concept of induction, he sought out David Harriman, a physicist who had taught philosophy, for his expert knowledge of the scientific discovery process.Here, Harriman presents the result of a collaboration between scientist and philosopher. Beginning with a detailed discussion of the role of mathematics and experimentation in validating generalizations in physics-looking closely at the reasoning of scientists such as Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Lavoisier, and Maxwell-Harriman skillfully argues that the inductive method used in philosophy is in principle indistinguishable from the method used in physics.

Physics and Philosophy

James Hopwood Jeans - 1942
    This discussion paves the way for an outline of epistemological methods in which the rationalism of thinkers like Descartes, Leibniz and Kant is compared to the empiricism of Locke and Hume.Over the course of the book, in a manner that is careful and methodic but never dull, Jeans marshals the evidence for his startling conclusion: recent discoveries in astronomy, mathematics, sub-atomic physics and other disciplines have washed away the scientific basis of many older philosophic discussions. Such long-standing problems as causality, free will and determinism, the nature of space and time, materialism and mentalism must be considered anew int he light of new knowledge and information attained by 20th-century physical science. Even then, however, Jeans cautions against drawing any positive conclusions, pointing out that both physics and philosophy are both relatively young and that we are still, in Newton's words, like children playing with pebbles on the sea-shore, while the great ocean of truth rolls, unexplored, beyond our reach.Although first published nearly 40 years ago, nothing in physics has happened to affect Jean's account in this book; it remains remarkably fresh and undated, a classic exposition of the philosophical implications of scientific knowledge.