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A Tour of the Calculusby David Berlinski
Synopses & Reviews
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.
"An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review
An intriguing journey through the mysteries and implications of calculus reveals the mysteries of mathemathics, real numbers, functions, and limits and explores the implications of calculus in defining and understanding the changing qualities of the universe. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
Table of Contents
Masters of the symbols — Symbols of the masters — The black blossoms of geometry — Cartesian coordinates — The unbearable smoothness of motion — Yo — Thirteen ways of looking at a line — The doctor of discovery — Real world rising — Forever familiar, forever unknown — Some famous functions — Speed of sorts — Speed, strange speed — Paris days — Prague interlude — Memory of motion — The dimpled sholder — Wrong way Rolle — The mean value of theorem — The song of Igor — Area — Those legos vanish — The intergral wishes to compute an area — The intergral wishes to become a function — A farewell to continuity — Epilogue.
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