One to Nine: The Inner Life of Numbers

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W. W. Norton & Company, May 17, 2008 - Mathematics - 336 pages
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What Lynne Truss did for grammar in Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Andrew Hodges now does for mathematics.

Andrew Hodges, one of Britain’s leading biographers and mathematical writers, brings numbers to three-dimensional life in this delightful and illuminating volume, filled with illustrations, which makes even the most challenging math problems accessible to the layperson. Inspired by millennia of human attempts to figure things out, this pithy book, which tackles mathematical conundrums from the ancient Greeks to superstring theory, finds a new twist to everything from musical harmony to code breaking, from the chemistry of sunflowers to the mystery of magic squares. Starting with the puzzle of defining unity, and ending with the recurring nines of infinite decimals, Hodges tells a story that takes in quantum physics, cosmology, climate change, and the origin of the computer. Hodges has written a classic work, at once playful but satisfyingly instructional, which will be ideal for the math aficionado and the Sudoku addict as well as for the life of the party.

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One to nine: the inner life of numbers

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Oxford University mathematician and physicist Hodges (Alan Turing: The Enigma) focuses in nine chapters on the nine integers from one to nine (although the first chapter also includes some necessary ... Read full review


The Unloved One
To Be or Not to Be
Its a Square World
Fifth Freedom
The Joy of Six
The Wonder of it All
Sound Bytes
End Times Table
Handson Experience
Index of Main Subjects

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About the author (2008)

Andrew Hodges is the author of Alan Turing: The Enigma, described by The New Yorker as “one of the finest scientific biographies ever written.” He is a lecturer at Wadham College, Oxford University.

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