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Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace

Mlodinow, Leonard

1,325 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0684865246 / ISBN 13: 9780684865249
Published by Free Press, NY, 2002
Used Condition: Near Fine Soft cover
From Dorley House Books, Inc. (Clear Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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1st paperback printing; 306 clean, unmarked pages Size: 8 vo. Bookseller Inventory # 069735

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from ...

Publisher: Free Press, NY

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Paperback

Illustrator: Diagrams, Etc

Book Condition:Near Fine

Edition: 1st.

About this title

Synopsis:

Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space -- in the living room or in some other galaxy -- have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.
Based on Mlodinow's extensive historical research; his studies alongside colleagues such as Richard Feynman and Kip Thorne; and interviews with leading physicists and mathematicians such as Murray Gell-Mann, Edward Witten, and Brian Greene, Euclid's Window is an extraordinary blend of rigorous, authoritative investigation and accessible, good-humored storytelling that makes a stunningly original argument asserting the primacy of geometry. For those who have looked through Euclid's Window, no space, no thing, and no time will ever be quite the same.

Review:

"How do you know where you are?" asks Leonard Mlodinow in his charming mathematical history, Euclid's Window. This question and others about space and time grew out of simple observations of the environment by a select group of thinkers whose lives and brains Mlodinow dissects. Starting with Euclid, geometry has flowed out over the centuries, describing the universe, and, Mlodinow argues, making modern civilization possible.

This is not just a history of geometry--it's a timeline of reason and abstraction, with all the major players present: Euclid, Descartes, Gauss, Einstein, and Witten, each represented by a minibiography.

Lots of examples pepper the narrative to help readers achieve their own "eureka!" And it's impossible not to be staggered at the mathematical feats of these geniuses, accomplished as many of them were in the absence of anything but observation and intense thought. Each story builds satisfactorily on the last, until at the end of this delightful book, one has a sense of having climbed a peak of understanding.

A working knowledge of basic geometry is helpful but not essential for enjoying Euclid's Window, and Mlodinow's chatty style lends itself remarkably well to explaining these deep and revolutionary concepts. --Adam Fisher

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