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Even the numerically challenged will be entranced by this clear and clever chronicle revealing the role of geometry in scientific revolutions and in the advancement of civilization itself. It began with Pythagoras, whose system of abstract rules that could model the universe became the foundation of scientific inquiry. An obscure bishop in fourteenth-century France triggered the next revolution when he produced the first graph and brought geometry and numbers together for the first time. The next revolutionary was the genius Gauss, who, at the young age of fifteen, recognized that, like the earth's surface, space could be curved. In the twentieth century, Albert Einstein once again reinvented geometry. By adding a fourth dimension -- time -- Einstein set the stage for today's cutting-edge research into yet-to-be-discovered dimensions in which space and time, matter and energy are all intertwined.
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.
Leonard Mlodinow, Ph.D., was a member of the faculty of the California Institute of Technology before moving to Hollywood to become a writer for numerous television shows ranging from Star Trek: The Next Generation to Night Court. He has also developed many bestselling and award-winning educational CD-ROMs, and delivered technical and general lectures in ten countries. He is currently Vice President, Emerging Technologies and R&D, at Scholastic Inc. He lives in New York City.
Curt Suplee The Washington Post High-spirited, splendidly lucid and often hilarious.
Michael Guillen author of Five Equations That Changed the World How often can you say that a book on math -- on math! -- is a real page-turner? Well, this one is. As engaging as a soap opera, as fascinating as a whodunit, as funny as the Sunday comics, Mlodinow's book is storytelling at its best.
Brian Greene author of The Elegant Universe There is perhaps no better way to prepare for the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow than to learn the language of geometry, and Euclid's Window makes this task lively and enjoyable.