Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

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Viking, 2000 - Mathematics - 248 pages
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"Zero follows the number zero from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of a black hole. Here are the legendary thinkers who battled over the meaning of this mysterious number - scholars and mystics, cosmologists and clergymen whose clashes over zero shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion." "Charles Seife's account takes us from Aristotle to superstring theory by way of Pythagoras, Descartes, the Kabbalists, and Einstein. It is a concise tour of a universe of ideas bound up in the simple notion of nothing."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Smart and entertaining at the same time

User Review  - kawasakign - Borders

Great book. As an engineer that took way to much math back in college, I now have a greater appreciation for how all the great mathematicians of the past created our modern calculus. Ties together religion, philosophy and science and math all together to get the whole historical story. Read full review

Zero: the biography of a dangerous idea

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is a very light treatment of big ideas. In the first chapters, Seife, a correspondent for New Scientist, skims over the historical and intellectual development of zero, covered more thoughtfully ... Read full review

Contents

Null and Void
1
Nothing Comes of Nothing
25
Nothing Ventured
63
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (2000)

Charles Seife is the author of five previous books, including Proofiness and Zero, which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction and was a New York Times notable book. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Wired, New Scientist, Science, Scientific American, and The Economist. He is a professor of journalism at New York University and lives in New York City.

 

 

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