A History of the Circle: Mathematical Reasoning and the Physical Universe
by Ernest Zebrowski;Jr Ernest Zebrowski (9780813528984)

A History of the Circle: Mathematical Reasoning and the Physical Universe
Ernest Zebrowski;Jr Ernest Zebrowski
Release Date: 01 June 2000
Format: Paperback / softback
Pages: 232
Categories: Geometry
ISBN: 9780813528984
ISBN-10: 0813528984

"I found the book to be fascinating, and the author's presentations and illustrations of the contrasts bewtween mathematical reasoning and scientific reasoning were especially appealing. The book is rich in history, which is carefully integrated into the discussions, and it includes wonderful illustrations and stories." --The Mathematics Teacher "Zebrowski is a wonderful storyteller, and his choices of topics reveal not only the depth of explanation afforded by the available mathematics but the beauty in the explanations; he succeeds in keeping the explanations accessible to the most general audience." --Choice The concept of the circle is ubiquitous. It can be described mathematically, represented physically, and employed technologically. The circle is an elegant, abstract form that has been transformed by humans into tangible, practical forms to make our lives easier. And yet no one has ever discovered a true mathematical circle. Rainbows are fuzzy, car tires are flat on the bottom, and even the most precise roller bearings have measurable irregularities. Ernest Zebrowski, Jr., discusses how investigations into the circle have contributed enormously to our current knowledge of the physical universe. Beginning with the ancient mathematicians and culminating in twentieth-century theories of space and time, the mathematics of the circle has pointed many investigators in fruitful directions in their quests to unravel nature's secrets. Johannes Kepler, for example, triggered a scientific revolution in 1609 when he challenged the conception of the earth's circular motion around the sun. Arab and European builders instigated a golden age of mosque and cathedral building when they questionedthe Roman structural arches that were limited to geometrical semicircles. Throughout his book, Zebrowski emphasizes the concepts underlying these mathematicians' calculations, and how these concepts are linked to real-life examples. Substantiated by easy-to-follow mathematical reasoning and clear illustrations, this accessible book presents a novel and interesting discussion of the circle in technology, culture, history, and science. Ernest Zebrowski, Jr., hold professorships in science and mathematics education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, and in physics at Pennsylvania College of Technology of the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Perils of a Restless Planet: Scientific Perspectives on Natural Disasters and The Last Days of St. Pierre: The Volcanic Disaster That Claimed 30,000 Lives.

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