Heavenly Mathematics

Heavenly Mathematics

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

qqHeavenly Mathematicsq is heavenly, is mathematics, and is so much more: history, astronomy, geography, and navigation replete with historical illustrations, elegant diagrams, and charming anecdotes. I haven't followed mathematical proofs with such delight in decades. If, as the author laments, spherical trigonometry was in danger of extinction, this book will give it a long-lasting reprieve.q--David J. Helfand, president of the American Astronomical Society qThis beautifully written book on an unusual topic, with its wealth of historical information about astronomy, navigation, and mathematics, is greatly to be welcomed.q--Robin Wilson, president of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, author of qFour Colors Suffice: How the Map Problem Was Solvedq qWritten by the leading expert on the subject, this engaging book provides an in-depth historical introduction to spherical trigonometry. qHeavenly Mathematicsq breathes new and interesting life into a topic that has been slumbering for far too long.q--June Barrow-Green, associate editor of qThe Princeton Companion to Mathematicsq qqHeavenly Mathematicsq is a very good book. It offers an interesting, accessible, and entertaining introduction to spherical trigonometry, which used to be a standard school topic but is now rarely studied. Interesting stories, engaging illustrations, and practical examples come together to enhance the reader's pleasure and understanding.q--Fernando Q. Gouvea, Colby College qVan Brummelen provides not only a wonderful historical treatment of spherical trigonometry but also a modern one that shows how the ancient and medieval methods were replaced by newer and simpler means of problem solving. Many students will find this a fascinating and worthwhile subject.q--Victor J. Katz, editor of qThe Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islamqqcare, a navigator might compute a distance that would leave us hundreds of miles short of our destination! The mathematical face of this ambiguity appears immediately when we use the Law of Sines to find \A: / 0.9985 sin sin sinsin A a Bb = = , so 86.84 A c = or 180 86.84 93.16 c c c aˆ’ = . We can tell from our diagram that we want the smaller angle 86.84c, but if the ambiguity had passed without notice, anbsp;...

Title:Heavenly Mathematics
Author: Glen Van Brummelen
Publisher:Princeton University Press - 2013

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