Unknown Quantity  -     By: John S. Derbyshire
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Unknown Quantity

Penguin Books / 2007 / Paperback

$15.30 (CBD Price)
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Retail: $17.00
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Save 10% ($1.70)
Expected to ship on or about 01/07/17.
CBD Stock No: WW288530

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.31 (inches)
ISBN: 0452288533
ISBN-13: 9780452288539

Publisher's Description

For curious nonmathematicians and armchair algebra buffs, John Derbyshire discovers the story behind the formulae, roots, and radicals. As he did so masterfully in Prime Obsession, Derbyshire brings the evolution of mathematical thinking to dramatic life by focusing on the key historical players. Unknown Quantity begins in the time of Abraham and Isaac and moves from Abel?s proof to the higher levels of abstraction developed by Galois through modern-day advances. Derbyshire explains how a simple turn of thought from ?this plus this equals this? to ?this plus what equals this?? gave birth to a whole new way of perceiving the world. With a historian?s narrative authority and a beloved teacher?s clarity and passion, Derbyshire leads readers on an intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging journey through the development of abstract mathematical thought.

Author Bio

John Derbyshire is a mathematician and linguist by education, a systems analyst by profession, and a celebrated writer in his spare time. His work appears frequently in National Review and The New Criterion. Born and raised in England, he has made his home in the United States for the past fifteen years.

Editorial Reviews

[A] very entertaining survey of the development of algebra. (Publishers Weekly)
[A] very entertaining survey of the development of algebra. (Publishers Weekly)
Both compelling and easy to follow. (Library Journal)

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