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In Pursuit of the Unknown: 17 Equations That Changed the World Hardcover – March 13, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 498 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Maclean's
“Stewart is
the finest living math popularizer – a writer who can tackle eye-spraining mathematical topics approachably, and yet dazzle hard-core nerds with new and surprising information. It is hard not to get your money's worth from him, and in a book like this he is at his best because of the very wide ground covered.”
 
Library Journal
“Stewart's expertise and his well-developed style (enhanced by a nice sense of humor) make for enjoyable reading…. [A] worthwhile and entertaining book, accessible to all readers. Recommended for anyone interested in the influence of mathematics on the development of science and on the emergence of our current technology-driven society.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

“Stewart has managed to produce a remarkably readable, informative and entertaining volume on a subject about which few are as well informed as they would like to be.”



New York Journal of Books

“Stewart is a genius in the way he conveys his excitement and sense of wonder…. He has that valuable grasp of not only what it takes to make equations interesting, but also to make science cool.”

 


Steve Mirsky, Scientific American

Publishers Weekly

“Stewart shares his enthusiasm as well as his knowledge in this tour of ground-breaking equations and the research they supported…. An entertaining and illuminating collection of curious facts and histories suitable for random dipping-in or reading straight through.”


Kirkus Reviews

“Stewart provides clear, cogent explanations of how the equations work without burdening the reader with cumbersome derivations…. He gives a fascinating explanation of how Newton's laws, when extended to three-body problems, are still used by NASA to calculate the best route from Earth to Mars and have laid the basis for chaos theory. Throughout, Stewart's style is felicitous.”
 
Discover

“Seemingly basic equations have enabled us to predict eclipses, engineer earthquake-proof buildings, and invent the refrigerator. In this lively volume, mathematician Ian Stewart delves into 17 equations that shape our daily existence, including those dreamed up by the likes of Einstein, Newton, and Erwin Schrödinger.”
 

About the Author

Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics and active researcher at the University of Warwick. He is also a regular research visitor at the University of Houston, the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications in Minneapolis, and the Santa Fe institute. His writing has appeared in New Scientist, Discover, Scientific American, and many newspapers in the U.K. and U.S. He lives in Coventry, England.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Basic Books; 1st edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 352 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0465029736
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0465029730
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 years and up
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 11 and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.24 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1.25 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 498 ratings

About the author

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Ian Stewart FRS is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of

Warwick and a leading popularizer of mathematics. He is author or coauthor of

over 200 research papers on pattern formation, chaos, network dynamics, and

biomathematics. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2001, and has

served on Council, its governing body. He has five honorary doctorates.

He has published more than 120 books including Why Beauty is Truth, Professor

Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, Calculating the Cosmos,

Significant Figures, and the four-volume series The Science of Discworld with

Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen. He has also written the science fiction novels

Wheelers and Heaven with Jack Cohen, and The Living Labyrinth and Rock Star with

Tim Poston.

He wrote the Mathematical Recreations column for Scientific American from 1990

to 2001. He has made 90 television appearances and 450 radio broadcasts, most of

them about mathematics for the general public, and has delivered hundreds of

public lectures on mathematics.

His awards include the Royal Society’s Faraday Medal, the Gold Medal of the

Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications, the Zeeman Medal (IMA and London

Mathematical Society), the Lewis Thomas Prize (Rockefeller University), and the

Euler Book Prize (Mathematical Association of America).

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
498 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 21, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 8, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 21, 2021
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Mike B
5.0 out of 5 stars It covers 17 very important equations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 4, 2019
10 people found this helpful
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DUK
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid book. Skip the last waffling chapter.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 22, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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Xenophon
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be on school syllabuses
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 5, 2012
39 people found this helpful
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Docpappy
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice front cover
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 6, 2021
brian gamble
5.0 out of 5 stars So even if you are a student with little time on your hands for 'reading around a subject' like I always was I would definitely
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 27, 2015
7 people found this helpful
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