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2 Hawthorne Mathematics- General

The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number

by

The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number Cover

ISBN13: 9780767908160
ISBN10: 0767908163
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887...This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio," was discovered by Euclid more than two thousand years ago because of its crucial role in the construction of the pentagram, to which magical properties had been attributed. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant, and it has been asserted that the creators of the Pyramids and the Parthenon employed it. It is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Salvador Dali's The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and poets and composers have used it in their works. It has even been found to be connected to the behavior of the stock market!

The Golden Ratio is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, including the followers of Pythagoras who believed that this proportion revealed the hand of God; astronomer Johannes Kepler, who saw phi as the greatest treasure of geometry; such Renaissance thinkers as mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa; and such masters of the modern world as Goethe, Cezanne, Bartok, and physicist Roger Penrose. Wherever his quest for the meaning of phi takes him, Mario Livio reveals the world as a place where order, beauty, and eternal mystery will always coexist.

Review:

"[An] entertaining review of the history of mathematics...A nice mental workout." Linda Schlossberg, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Engagingly enthusiastic...It's hard not to feel inspired and even unsettled by the hidden order Livio reveals." New Scientist

Review:

"Numbers aficionados will delight in astrophysicist Livio's history of an irrational number whose fame is second only to that of pi....Livio's encyclopedic selection of subjects, supported by dozens of illustrations, will snare anyone with a recreational interest in mathematics." Booklist

Review:

"With a guide to the history of ideas as impassioned as Livio, even the math-phobic can experience the shock and pleasure of scientific discovery. This thoroughly enjoyable work vividly demonstrates to the general reader that, as Galileo put it, the universe is, indeed, written in the language of mathematics." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The harmonious qualities of the golden ratio — phi — are pleasingly scanned in this history of the number, and by extension, a historical tour of numbers in general....A shining example of the aesthetics of mathematics." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

Livio (head, Science Division, Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute) tells the tale of the number phi (1.6180339887) and the golden ratio. He explains its uses in art and architecture and its abundant examples in nature, and tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, from Pythagoras and Kepler to classical composers. B&w illustrations are included. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The first book for the layperson on a mathematical relationship that has obsessed mathematicians, philosophers, scientists, and artists since ancient Greece — an omnipresent number considered to be "divine."

About the Author

Mario Livio is head of the Science Division at the Hubble Space Telescope Institute, where he studies a broad range of subjects in astrophysics, particularly the rate of expansion of the universe. He is the author of one previous book, The Accelerating Universe (2000). He is a frequent public lecturer at such venues as the Smithsonian Institution and the Hayden Planetarium. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Katy_Delahunty, August 17, 2006 (view all comments by Katy_Delahunty)
Mental gymnastics. An absolute pleasure to read and wonder if everything that is random can share this similar element how random can life really be? Wonderfully written, good pace and unambigious language.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780767908160
Author:
Livio, Mario
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
Research
Subject:
Geometry - General
Subject:
History -- Philosophy.
Subject:
Mathematics -- History.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20030931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.00x5.21x.67 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Geometry » Geometry and Trigonometry
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » History
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Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Reference

The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767908160 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[An] entertaining review of the history of mathematics...A nice mental workout."
"Review" by , "Engagingly enthusiastic...It's hard not to feel inspired and even unsettled by the hidden order Livio reveals."
"Review" by , "Numbers aficionados will delight in astrophysicist Livio's history of an irrational number whose fame is second only to that of pi....Livio's encyclopedic selection of subjects, supported by dozens of illustrations, will snare anyone with a recreational interest in mathematics."
"Review" by , "With a guide to the history of ideas as impassioned as Livio, even the math-phobic can experience the shock and pleasure of scientific discovery. This thoroughly enjoyable work vividly demonstrates to the general reader that, as Galileo put it, the universe is, indeed, written in the language of mathematics."
"Review" by , "The harmonious qualities of the golden ratio — phi — are pleasingly scanned in this history of the number, and by extension, a historical tour of numbers in general....A shining example of the aesthetics of mathematics."
"Synopsis" by , The first book for the layperson on a mathematical relationship that has obsessed mathematicians, philosophers, scientists, and artists since ancient Greece — an omnipresent number considered to be "divine."
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