- File Size: 13450 KB
- Print Length: 402 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0691144257
- Publisher: Princeton University Press (August 8, 2011)
- Publication Date: August 8, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005AUV054
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,409,492 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$29.95|
|Print List Price:||$29.95|
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Number-Crunching: Taming Unruly Computational Problems from Mathematical Physics to Science Fiction Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
You'll appreciate his MATLAB treatment of the three body problem as well as his discussions of ladder networks.
I could not more highly recommend his books.
That's the opening quote. The author suggests that if your reaction was less extreme than Vonnegut's, and you started working out an answer, then his book is probably for you! I've enjoyed his other books, about srqt(-1), and Euler's Formula, so I tried out this one.
The book has sample tricky problems involving boundary conditions, electric circuits, chaos theory, differential amplifiers, heat transfer, n-body problems, and predator-prey equations. These are all explained well.
Unfortunately, the book isn't really cutting edge. For example, page 329, on zeros of the Riemann Zeta function: "Trillions of complex zeros have been calculated since 1859, and every last one of them does indeed have a real part of 1/2." The actual story is more recent. The Zetagrid project calculated 935.7 billion nontrivial zeros by the year 2004. Xavier Gourdon then found a much faster method, and calculated the first 10 trillion zeros that same year.
The computers of today are roughly a billion times more powerful than computers of 1980 or earlier. Most of the book deals with problems solved by computers 1940-1980. Myself, I looked at the Mrs. Perkins Quilt problem, which involves cutting a square into a minimal number of smaller squares. I brought very little new to the problem, using the same 1940's methods as the author describes in his book Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt. However, I had a *hundred trillion* times as much computer power. Their old programs on my 2009-era computer vastly extended the known results. Any problem subject to computer attack that hasn't been seriously studied in the past 20 years will yeild new results to anyone using a modern computer.
I just reviewed How to Fold It, and in that book five college students and their programs found new discoveries on what could be folded from the Latin cross.
Number-Crunching is good enough to recommend, but a follow-up book that only has stunning number-crunching results from the last decade would be appreciated.
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