The Kingdom of Infinite Number: A Field Guide

Front Cover
Henry Holt and Company, Sep 15, 2001 - Mathematics - 398 pages
1 Review

Just as bird guides help watchers tell birds apart by their color, songs, and behavior, The Kingdom of Infinite Number is the perfect handbook for identifying numbers in their native habitat. Taking a field guide-like approach, it offers a fresh way of looking at individual numbers and the properties that make them unique, which are also the properties essential for mental computation. The result provides new insights into mathematical patterns and relationships and an increased appreciation for the sheer wonder of numbers.

Every number in this book is identified by its "field marks," "similar species," "personality," and "associations." For example, one field mark of the number 6 is that it is the first perfect number-- the sum of its divisors (1, 2, and 3) is equal to the number itself. Thus 28, the next perfect number, is a similar species. And the fact that 6 can easily be broken into 2 and 3 is part of its personality, a trait that is helpful when large numbers are being either multiplied or divided by 6. Associations with 6 include its relationship to the radius of a circle. In addition to such classifications, special attention is paid to dozens of other fascinating numbers, including zero, pi, 10 to the 76th power (the number of particles in the universe), transfinite and other exceptionally larger numbers, and the concept of infinity.

Ideal for beginners but organized to appeal to the mathematically literate, The Kingdom of Infinite Number will not only add to readers' enjoyment of mathematics, but to their problem-solving abilities as well.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

How did I enjoy thee? Let me count the ways. This book isn't for everyone, but if you like numbers, this is an incredibly fun book. It is like a field guide to animals or insects or rocks: It is a ... Read full review

The kingdom of infinite number: a field guide

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This book's playful conceit is that a number is like a bird--something that is interesting to observe and identify in its native habitat, flocks together in groups and has distinct behavior patterns ... Read full review


Title Page
GenusNaturalCounting Numbers
Genera Integral and Rational Signed Numbers
GenusRealNumberLine Numbers
Genus Complex AllInclusive Numbers
Kingdom Infinity
A Note on Taxonomy
Word Index

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Bryan Bunch has extensive experience as a writer and editor in the math and science fields. The editor of The Family Encyclopedia of Diseases, he is also the co-author, with Alexander Hellemans, of The Timetables of Science, and the author of Mathematical Fallacies and Paradoxes and Reality's Mirror: Exploring the Mathematics of Symmetry, which was named one of the year's best science books by Library Journal.

Bibliographic information