In Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker leads an excursion to that stretch of the universe he calls the "Mindscape," where he explores infinity in all its forms: potential and actual, mathematical and physical, theological and mundane. Rucker acquaints us with Gödel's rotating universe, in which it is theoretically possible to travel into the past, and explains an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which billions of parallel worlds are produced every microsecond. It is in the realm of infinity, he maintains, that mathematics, science, and logic merge with the fantastic. By closely examining the paradoxes that arise from this merging, we can learn a great deal about the human mind, its powers, and its limitations. Using cartoons, puzzles, and quotations to enliven his text, Rucker guides us through such topics as the paradoxes of set theory, the possibilities of physical infinities, and the results of Gödel's incompleteness theorems. His personal encounters with Gödel the mathematician and philosopher provide a rare glimpse at genius and reveal what very few mathematicians have dared to admit: the transcendent implications of Platonic realism.
Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 1991
Eli Maor examines the role of infinity in mathematics and geometry and its cultural impact on the arts and sciences. He evokes the profound intellectual impact the infinite has exercised on the human mind--from the "horror infiniti" of the Greeks to the works of M. C. Escher; from the ornamental designs of the Moslems, to the sage Giordano Bruno, whose belief in an infinite universe led to his death at the hands of the Inquisition. But above all, the book describes the mathematician's fascination with infinity--a fascination mingled with puzzlement. "Maor explores the idea of infinity in mathematics and in art and argues that this is the point of contact between the two, best exemplified by the work of the Dutch artist M. C. Escher, six of whose works are shown here in beautiful color plates."--Los Angeles Times "[Eli Maor's] enthusiasm for the topic carries the reader through a rich panorama."--Choice "Fascinating and enjoyable.... places the ideas of infinity in a cultural context and shows how they have been espoused and molded by mathematics."--Science
Popular account ranges from counting to mathematical logic and covers many concepts related to infinity: graphic representation of functions; pairings, other combinations; prime numbers; logarithms, circular functions; more. 216 illustrations.
Author: A. Gardiner
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
What shall we say of this metamorphosis in passing from finite to infinite? Galileo, Two New Sciences As its title suggests, this book was conceived as a prologue to the study of "Why the calculus works"--otherwise known as analysis. It is in fact a critical reexamination of the infinite processes arising in elementary math ematics: Part II reexamines rational and irrational numbers, and their representation as infinite decimals; Part III examines our ideas of length, area, and volume; and Part IV examines the evolution of the modern function-concept. The book may be used in a number of ways: firstly, as a genuine pro logue to analysis; secondly, as a supplementary text within an analysis course, providing a source of elementary motivation, background and ex amples; thirdly, as a kind of postscript to elementary analysis-as in a senior undergraduate course designed to reinforce students' understanding of elementary analysis and of elementary mathematics by considering the mathematical and historical connections between them. But the contents of the book should be of interest to a much wider audience than this including teachers, teachers in training, students in their last year at school, and others interested in mathematics.
Original anthology features less-technical essays discussing logic, topology, abstract algebra, relativity theory, and the works of David Hilbert. Most have been long unavailable or previously unpublished in book form. 2012 edition.
Author: N.Ya. Vilenkin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-06-29
The concept of infinity is one of the most important, and at the same time, one of the most mysterious concepts of science. Already in antiquity many philosophers and mathematicians pondered over its contradictory nature. In mathematics, the contradictions connected with infinity intensified after the creation, at the end of the 19th century, of the theory of infinite sets and the subsequent discovery, soon after, of paradoxes in this theory. At the time, many scientists ignored the paradoxes and used set theory extensively in their work, while others subjected set-theoretic methods in mathematics to harsh criticism. The debate intensified when a group of French mathematicians, who wrote under the pseudonym of Nicolas Bourbaki, tried to erect the whole edifice of mathematics on the single notion of a set. Some mathematicians greeted this attempt enthusiastically while others regarded it as an unnecessary formalization, an attempt to tear mathematics away from life-giving practical applications that sustain it. These differences notwithstanding, Bourbaki has had a significant influence on the evolution of mathematics in the twentieth century. In this book we try to tell the reader how the idea of the infinite arose and developed in physics and in mathematics, how the theory of infinite sets was constructed, what paradoxes it has led to, what significant efforts have been made to eliminate the resulting contradictions, and what routes scientists are trying to find that would provide a way out of the many difficulties.
Now you can clearly present even the most complex computational theory topics to your students with Sipser's distinct, market-leading INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY OF COMPUTATION, 3E. The number one choice for today's computational theory course, this highly anticipated revision retains the unmatched clarity and thorough coverage that make it a leading text for upper-level undergraduate and introductory graduate students. This edition continues author Michael Sipser's well-known, approachable style with timely revisions, additional exercises, and more memorable examples in key areas. A new first-of-its-kind theoretical treatment of deterministic context-free languages is ideal for a better understanding of parsing and LR(k) grammars. This edition's refined presentation ensures a trusted accuracy and clarity that make the challenging study of computational theory accessible and intuitive to students while maintaining the subject's rigor and formalism. Readers gain a solid understanding of the fundamental mathematical properties of computer hardware, software, and applications with a blend of practical and philosophical coverage and mathematical treatments, including advanced theorems and proofs. INTRODUCTION TO THE THEORY OF COMPUTATION, 3E's comprehensive coverage makes this an ideal ongoing reference tool for those studying theoretical computing. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
'Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.' Douglas Adams, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy We human beings have trouble with infinity - yet infinity is a surprisingly human subject. Philosophers and mathematicians have gone mad contemplating its nature and complexity - yet it is a concept routinely used by schoolchildren. Exploring the infinite is a journey into paradox. Here is a quantity that turns arithmetic on its head, making it feasible that 1 = 0. Here is a concept that enables us to cram as many extra guests as we like into an already full hotel. Most bizarrely of all, it is quite easy to show that there must be something bigger than infinity - when it surely should be the biggest thing that could possibly be. Brian Clegg takes us on a fascinating tour of that borderland between the extremely large and the ultimate that takes us from Archimedes, counting the grains of sand that would fill the universe, to the latest theories on the physical reality of the infinite. Full of unexpected delights, whether St Augustine contemplating the nature of creation, Newton and Leibniz battling over ownership of calculus, or Cantor struggling to publicise his vision of the transfinite, infinity's fascination is in the way it brings together the everyday and the extraordinary, prosaic daily life and the esoteric. Whether your interest in infinity is mathematical, philosophical, spiritual or just plain curious, this accessible book offers a stimulating and entertaining read.
One of the most talented contemporary authors of cutting-edge math and science books conducts a fascinating tour of a higher reality, the fourth dimension. Includes problems, puzzles, and 200 drawings. "Informative and mind-dazzling." — Martin Gardner.
Author: Eli Maor
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2014-01-19
If you've ever thought that mathematics and art don't mix, this stunning visual history of geometry will change your mind. As much a work of art as a book about mathematics, Beautiful Geometry presents more than sixty exquisite color plates illustrating a wide range of geometric patterns and theorems, accompanied by brief accounts of the fascinating history and people behind each. With artwork by Swiss artist Eugen Jost and text by math historian Eli Maor, this unique celebration of geometry covers numerous subjects, from straightedge-and-compass constructions to intriguing configurations involving infinity. The result is a delightful and informative illustrated tour through the 2,500-year-old history of one of the most important branches of mathematics.
Author: Raymond M. Smullyan
Release Date: 2012-05-30
Genre: Games & Activities
More than two hundred new and challenging logic puzzles—the simplest brainteaser to the most complex paradoxes in contemporary mathematical thinking—from our topmost puzzlemaster (“the most entertaining logician who ever lived,” Martin Gardner has called him). Our guide to the puzzles is the Sorcerer, who resides on the Island of Knights and Knaves, where knights always tell the truth and knaves always lie, and he introduces us to the amazing magic—logic—that enables to discover which inhabitants are which. Then, in a picaresque adventure in logic, he takes us to the planet Og, to the Island of Partial Silence, and to a land where metallic robots wearing strings of capital letters are noisily duplicating and dismantling themselves and others. The reader’s job is to figure out how it all works. Finally, we accompany the Sorcerer on an alluring tour of Infinity which includes George Cantor’s amazing mathematical insights. The tour (and the book) ends with Satan devising a diabolical puzzle for one of Cantor’s prize students—who outwits him! In sum: a devilish magician’s cornucopia of puzzles—a delight for every age and level of ability.
Author: Martin Rees
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-11-21
Our universe seems strangely ''biophilic,'' or hospitable to life. Is this happenstance, providence, or coincidence? According to cosmologist Martin Rees, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: ''What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.'' This highly engaging book explores the fascinating consequences of the answer being ''yes.'' Rees explores the notion that our universe is just a part of a vast ''multiverse,'' or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be no more than local bylaws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge. Rees begins by exploring the nature of our solar system and examining a range of related issues such as whether our universe is or isn't infinite. He asks, for example: How likely is life? How credible is the Big Bang theory? Rees then peers into the long-range cosmic future before tracing the causal chain backward to the beginning. He concludes by trying to untangle the paradoxical notion that our entire universe, stretching 10 billion light-years in all directions, emerged from an infinitesimal speck. As Rees argues, we may already have intimations of other universes. But the fate of the multiverse concept depends on the still-unknown bedrock nature of space and time on scales a trillion trillion times smaller than atoms, in the realm governed by the quantum physics of gravity. Expanding our comprehension of the cosmos, Our Cosmic Habitat will be read and enjoyed by all those--scientists and nonscientists alike--who are as fascinated by the universe we inhabit as is the author himself.
Traces the epic history of ancient Greek philosopher Zeno's yet-unsolved paradox of motion, citing the contributions of such top minds as Aristotle, Newton, and Hawking to furthering the scientific community's understanding of the elusive basic structure of time and space. Originally published as The Motion Paradox. Reprint.