A Tour of the Calculus

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Apr 27, 2011 - Mathematics - 352 pages
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.



"An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others."--New York Times Book Review
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheDivineOomba - LibraryThing

This is book that started of interesting, between the calculus theories, and the stories told, but than the book started going into complicated math theories, that made my brain recoil in an attempt to understand, I gave up. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - br77rino - LibraryThing

Like the 4 other reviewers here have said: too wordy. There is poetry in calculus, but not this much. Still, there are little gems scattered around making it sort of worthwhile. But this is no "Journey Through Genius." Read full review

Contents

chapter
10
chapter
16
chapter
22
The Unbearable Smoothness of Motion
30
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Line
41
Real World Rising
54
Forever Familiar Forever Unknown
61
Some Famous Functions
75
Wrong Way Rolle
190
The Mean Value Theorem
198
The Song of Igor
217
Area
244
Those Legos Vanish
253
The Integral Wishes to Compute an Area
268
The Integral Wishes to Become a Function
274
Between the Living and the Dead
282

Speed of Sorts
92
Speed Strange Speed
106
Paris Days
118
Prague Interlude
129
Memory of Motion
155
The Dimpled Shoulder
173
A Farewell to Continuity
304
Epilogue
314
40
320
106
326
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About the author (2011)

David Berlinksi was born in New York City. He received a B.A. degree from Columbia College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. He has taught mathematics and philosophy at universities in the United States and France.

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