The Little Book of Big Primes

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9780387975085: The Little Book of Big Primes

The immensely popular Guiness Book of World Records lacked a chapter on prime numbers. The also popular Book of Prime Number Records, however, fills this need. This abridged version, written by the same author, is devoted to presenting records concerning prime numbers, but it also explores the interface between computations and the theory of prime numbers. The book contains up-to-date historical presentation of the main problems pertaining to prime numbers, as well as many fascinating topics, including primality testing. It is written in a light and humorous language without secrets and is thoroughly accessible to everyone.

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From the Back Cover:

A deep understanding of prime numbers is one of the great challenges in mathematics. In this book, fundamental theorems, challenging open problems, and the most recent computational records are presented in a language without secrets. The impressive wealth of material and references will make this book a favorite companion and a source of inspiration to all readers. Paulo Ribenboim is Professor Emeritus at Queen's University in Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and recipient of the George Pólya Award of the Mathematical Association of America. He is the author of 13 books and more than 150 research articles. From the reviews of the First Edition: Number Theory and mathematics as a whole will benefit from having such an accessible book exposing advanced material. There is no question that this book will succeed in exciting many new people to the beauty and fascination of prime numbers, and will probably bring more young people to research in these areas. - Andrew Granville, Zentralblatt Ribenboim is a rare creature - an academic who writes in an unstuffy way - and his book gives an overview of what is currently known about primes. - Robert Matthews, The Sunday Telegraph ...This genially reader-friendly tour de force, by a scientist with an encyclopedic and up-to-the-minute knowledge of the subject, is a wholly admirable addition to anyone’s bookshelf. - John H. Halton, American Scientist

Review:

From the reviews of the second edition:

P. Ribenboim

The Little Book of Big Primes

"Everyone has at one time or another taken an interest, however fleeting, in prime numbers . . . Ribenboim, however, is clearly a ‘prime nut,’ and this excellent, good-humored book is written for other (actually or potentially) incurable aficionados . . . it is a masterly presentation . . . This genially reader-friendly tour de force, by a scientist whit an encyclopedic and up-to-the-minute knowledge of the subject, is a wholly admirable addition to anyone’s bookshelf."—AMERICAN SCIENTIST

"The book presents a wealth of material and references on fundamental theorems, challenging open problems, and the most recent computational records in a language without secrets." (Zentralblatt für Didaktik und Mathematik, November, 2004)

"This book is the substantially expanded and updated second edition of the 1991 ‘Little book of big primes’. ... The author’s thorough knowledge of and passion for primes comes through clearly. Most of the book is accessible even to interested amateurs or undergraduate students ... . At the same time, a specialist can also find it useful to have so many results, open problems and references collected together." (Gábor Megyesi, Acta Scientiarum Mathematicarum, Vol. 72, 2006)

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