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e: The Story of a Number (Princeton Science Library) [Kindle Edition]

Eli Maor
3.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (11 Kundenrezensionen)

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Until about 1975, logarithms were every scientist's best friend. They were the basis of the slide rule that was the totemic wand of the trade, listed in huge books consulted in every library. Then hand-held calculators arrived, and within a few years slide rules were museum pieces.

But e remains, the center of the natural logarithmic function and of calculus. Eli Maor's book is the only more or less popular account of the history of this universal constant. Maor gives human faces to fundamental mathematics, as in his fantasia of a meeting between Johann Bernoulli and J.S. Bach. e: The Story of a Number would be an excellent choice for a high school or college student of trigonometry or calculus. --Mary Ellen Curtin


"It can be recommended to readers who want to learn about mathematics and its history, who want to be inspired and who want to understand important mathematical ideas more deeply."--"EMS Newsletter"


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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Galileo wrote that philosophy is written in the grand book of the universe, in a language of characters, circles, triangles, and other figures. Somewhere in this grand offering came the number e, which is the limit of the expression (1+1/n)^n, as n approaches infinity. It is a curiosity number, one that bridges Napier's original logarithms (which are to the base 1/e) and the origins of calculus. It was discovered at a time of exploding international trade, which is based on compound interest, whose formula you will recognize in the definition of e. It is the base of natural logarithms, a non-terminating, non-repeating decimal. e cannot be the solution to a quadratic equation that has integer coefficients.
This is a splendid book about a number as strange and useful as pi. Well written, this book can be handled by bright high school students and college students who have an interest not in solving math problems (the way we usually teach math), but in the history of math and this curious number. I read it for general interest and was very pleased with the entire book.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Of the numerical histories you'll find via the links on this page, this is the easiest to read. Beckman's "pi," while more a history of ideas through one idea, contains more difficult math than this book, though not much of it. Nahin's book on i is very heavy on math, though some of it is very simple and a lot of it is repetitive in nature. All three are very good, and well worth reading. I enjoyed all in slightly different ways, but this one was the most, well, fun. The books, by the way, should be read in the order pi,e,i, as that is the order in which they were "discovered" and their use popularized. After reading them all, I am not sure that e is not a more subtle concept than i. See what you think.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Must have 18. Dezember 1999
Von Phil
I see some lukewarm reviews of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One reviewer spoke of "attmepts to spice up" the subject. For me they worked perfectly to give humanity to what is all to often a dry subject. The math is laid out in a perfectly understandable way, much better than most texts. The book not only describes the history of e, but also of the calculus, presenting a very understandable explanation of differential and integral calculus. I feel the book is very enjoyable for those who are quite familiar with the mathematics, but I also think that the book may be the ideal introduction to calculus for the high school student who has had algebra.
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As someone who was taught math as a bunch of unrelated tricks for solving problems in textbooks, I was delighted by how Maor's masterpiece ties together logarithms, calculus, finance, science and history into a coherent story. The historical background to the development of logarithms and calculus is helpful in remembering the concepts. The math is accessible, and it's not all x's and y's: the book is generously supplied with graphs and figures.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Light and enjoyable reading 1. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
This book is a nice mix of mathematical history and elementary calculus, although you'll have (hopefully) heard a lot of the material from your final (school) year's mathematics teacher. It's good bus-reading material--just a little too light on medium duty material for me to bestow on it a better rating.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen An e-xciting mathematical and historical review 30. Januar 2000
I thoroughly enjoyed Eli Maor's book. It showed the historical development of mathematical analysis through the discovery of 'e' and its immense use, the climax being Euler's formula linking 'e', 'pi', 'i', '1' and '0'.
When I asked the loan officer of the bank where I keep my account what would be the interest of a loan at 10% per annum if compounded on a continuous basis, he had no idea that it would be limited by 27.18%. I recommended the book!
One curio for a future publishing: the shape of the Eiffel Tower is an exponential. If one cuts the tower at any height, the ratio of the volume above the cut to the area of the cut is constant.
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