A Number for your Thoughts: Facts and Speculations About Numbers from Euclid to the Latest Computers

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CRC Press, Jan 1, 1986 - Mathematics - 392 pages
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Why do we count the way we do? What is a prime number or a friendly, perfect, or weird one? How many are there and who has found the largest yet known? What is the Baffling Law of Benford and can you really believe it? Do most numbers you meet in every day life really begin with a 1, 2, or 3? What is so special about 6174? Can cubes, as well as squares, be magic? What secrets lie hidden in decimals? How do we count the infinite, and is one infinity really larger than another?

These and many other fascinating questions about the familiar 1, 2, and 3 are collected in this adventure into the world of numbers. Both entertaining and informative, A Number for Your Thoughts: Facts and Speculations about Numbers from Euclid to the Latest Computers contains a collection of the most interesting facts and speculations about numbers from the time of Euclid to the most recent computer research. Requiring little or no prior knowledge of mathematics, the book takes the reader from the origins of counting to number problems that have baffled the world's greatest experts for centuries, and from the simplest notions of elementary number properties all the way to counting the infinite.
 

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Contents

Counting
1
The Search for Prime Numbers
10
The World Record Holders
19
The Distribution of Primes
25
Prime Races Emirps and More
33
The Baffling Law of Benford
43
What is so Special about 6174?
53
Number Patterns and Symmetries
62
Magic Squares and Cubes
117
How can Anything so Simple be so Difficult?
124
Nearly All Numbers are Insane
132
Cyclic Numbers and their Secret
141
Pi a Transcendental Number
152
Most Numbers are Normal but its Tough to Find One
161
A Different Way of Counting Geometric Numbers
169
Two Dimensional Numbers
179

Numbers Perfect Friendly and Weird
71
How do These Series End?
86
Fermats Legendary Last Theorem
94
Shapely Numbers and Mr Waring
103
Counting the Infinite
189
Update September 1985
200
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