The Infinite in the Finite


This book is an extended history of mathematics that places mathematical development firmly in its historical context. Each section begins with a description of the geography and history of the country considered. From there, lively retelling of the creation myths and legends leads on to a description of how its people wrote and counted. This is followed by relevant mathematical material. The book covers; * The geometry of stone circles in Europe * The area of triangles and volume of pyramids that concerned the engineers of the Pharoahs * The Babylonian sexagesimal number system and our present measures of space and time which grew out of it * The use of the abacus and remainder theory in China * Greek mathematics from Pythagoras to Pappus. Detailed accounts of the work of apollonius and Archimedes are given. * The invention of trigonometry by Arab mathematicians * The solution of quadratic equations by completing the square developed in India Each chapter has a mathematical case study which is discussed both in the context of thetimes and in th light of more recent developments. Worked examples are also included. "The author has woven together a broad historical backgrounding and some fairly detailed but accessible mathematics in amost exciting way." John Fauvel, author of Let Newton Be!

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1995


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