Synopses & Reviews
In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two year old mathematician, made a hypothesis while presenting a paper to the Berlin Academy titled “On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity.” Today, after 150 years of careful research and exhaustive study, the Riemann Hyphothesis remains unsolved, with a one-million-dollar prize earmarked for the first person to conquer it.
Alternating passages of extraordinarily lucid mathematical exposition with chapters of elegantly composed biography and history, Prime Obsession is a fascinating and fluent account of an epic mathematical mystery that continues to challenge and excite the world.
Review
"Derbyshire’s attempt to take nonmathematicians into this subject had me on the edge of my seat." —
Los Angeles Times
"Riemann and his colleagues come to life as real characters and not just adjectives for conjectures and theorems." —Scientific American
Synopsis
Alternating passages of extraordinarily lucid mathematical exposition with chapters of elegantly composed biography and history, "Prime Obsession" is a fascinating and fluent account of an epic mathematical mystery that continues to challenge and excite the world.
About the Author
John Derbyshire is a mathematician and linguist by education, a systems analyst by profession, and a celebrated writer in his spare time. His work appears frequently in National Review and The New Criterion. Born and raised in England, he has made his home in the United States for the past fifteen years.
Table of Contents
Prologue
Part I: The Prime Number Theorem
Chapter 1: Card Trick
Chapter 2: The Soil, the Crop
Chapter 3: The Prime Number Theorem
Chapter 4: On the Shoulders of Giants
Chapter 5: Riemann's Zeta Function
Chapter 6: The Great Fusion
Chapter 7: The Golden Key, and an Improved Prime Number Theorem
Chapter 8: Not Altogether Unworthy
Chapter 9: Domain Stretching
Chapter 10: A Proof and a Turning Point
Part II: The Riemann Hypothesis
Chapter 11: Nine Zulu Queens Ruled China
Chapter 12: Hilbert's Eighth Problem
Chapter 13: The Argument Ant and the Value Ant
Chapter 14: In the Grip of an Obsession
Chapter 15: Big Oh and M