Imagining Numbers, by Barry Mazur. Brian Anderson. Follow this and additional works at: This Book Review. REVIEW OF BARRY MAZUR’S IMAGINING NUMBERS. (PARTICULARLY THE SQUARE ROOT OF MINUS FIFTEEN) AND. GISBERT W ¬®USTHOLZ’S A. NOTICES OF THE AMS. Imagining Numbers (particularly the square root of minus fifteen). Barry Mazur. Farrar, Straus and Giroux,

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Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Why Does mzzur World Exist?: With many excursions into visualization in poetry, goes into the history of how imaginary numbers square roots of negative numbers were initially deemed “impossible”, and slowly evolved into the “unnatural” or “uncomfortable” and finally into a perfectly respectable concept.

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There are no ordinary numbers whose squares are negative numbers. It was an enjoyable review of complex nukbers and a bit of trigonometry, along with some good history of mathematical thought. The Intelligence of a Machine. I got a distinct sense that it was edited and cleared for publication by literary folks who mistook its density for complexity.

Then he shows us, step by step, how to begin imagining, ourselves, imaginary numbers. With discussions about how we comprehend ideas both in poetry and in mathematics, Mazur reviews some of the writings of the earliest explorers of these elusive figures, nkmbers as Rafael Bombelli, an engineer who spent most of his life draining the swamps of Tuscany and who in his spare moments composed his great treatise “L’Algebra”.


This is the most entertaining book on mathematics you will ever read but a warning, if you’re rusty on your sums like me, there is a lot of flicking backwards and forwards. Engikous rated it it was amazing Nov 01, Paperbackpages. As Mazur concludes, “that would be another book”. The Early Mathematical Manuscripts of Leibniz.

Wonderful explanation of imaginary numbers – easily accessible and written with humor. The peak of the moment was then lost and as a result when we finally made it to that point it was an anti-climax. Mani rated it did not like it Jul 02, We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to barrg you find your new favourite book. The Wholeness of Nature. Mathematics imagijing Twentieth-Century Literature and Art. Just when I felt we were getting to a good bit, we’d step back and then look at something else.

A problem squared

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We talked about it in class when starting our Imaginary Numbers unit. Induction Is All We Got. Once we have this plane, it’s easy to visualize addition and multiplication of mazr numbers. It involved a coat hanger, a bee and a tulip. The Nature of Infinitesimals. A Most Elegant Equation.

Imagining Numbers by Barry Mazur

I’m extremely grateful to Minh-Tri Do for his efforts and many thanks, too, to David Feldman who provided the lead. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


Here are local [PDF] [dvi] versions imayining this article. I’ve forgotten a lot since studying complex variables 50 years ago, but this book brought a lot of it back.

Imagining Numbers : Barry Mazur :

Order it from Amazon. Apr nubmers, Ginnz rated it did not like it. Mar 21, Elizabeth marked it as to-read Shelves: More poetry than mathematics, or illuminating the poetry in mathematics. In large part, this is tied into the geometric interpretation of numbers and algebra, and in particular the complex plane, where addition becomes a translation, and multiplication becomes a scaling and rotation.

This book reveals how anyone can begin to visualize the enigmatic ‘imaginary numbers’ that first baffled mathematicians in the 16th century.

Particularly the Square Root of Minus Fifteen. In or I wrote an article Remarks on the Alexander Numberss [PDF] about the analogy between knots in the three-dimensional sphere and prime numbers and, correspondingly, the relationship between the Alexander polynomial and Iwasawa Theory.

Imaginary numbers entered into mathematics in sixteenth-century Italy and were used with immediate success, but nevertheless presented an mazru challenge to the imagination. Somewhat tedious and boring. A Very Short Introduction. Imagining Numbers particularly the square root of minus fifteen by Barry Mazur.