"Mild and sensitive Richard Hieck endured a quietly difficult childhood in Germany. Raised in humble circumstances, Richard was profoundly influenced by his withdrawn mother and by his father, an enigma whose devotion centered not on his five children but on his mysterious career. From his father, Richard inherited an interest in the night sky, learning to love the constellations and to take comfort in the strength of Orion and the warm radiance of Venus. Richard's shadowy, elusive father also influenced him to pursue studies in mathematics, a field offering Richard the discipline he had craved as a child." "Published in 1933, The Unknown Quantity is Hermann Broch's study of the underlying chaos - and, finally, the impossibility - of life within a society whose values are in decay. As Richard seeks to reconcile the conflicting demands of love and science, of passion and reason, societal and family values begin to undermine him and those in orbit around him." --Book Jacket.
Prime Obsession taught us not to be afraid to put the math in a math book. Unknown Quantity heeds the lesson well. So grab your graphing calculators, slip out the slide rules, and buckle up! John Derbyshire is introducing us to algebra through the ages -- and it promises to be just what his die-hard fans have been waiting for. "Here is the story of algebra." With this deceptively simple introduction, we begin our journey. Flanked by formulae, shadowed by roots and radicals, escorted by an expert who navigates unerringly on our behalf, we are guaranteed safe passage through even the most treacherous mathematical terrain. Our first encounter with algebraic arithmetic takes us back 38 centuries to the time of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, Ur and Haran, Sodom and Gomorrah. Moving deftly from Abel's proof to the higher levels of abstraction developed by Galois, we are eventually introduced to what algebraists have been focusing on during the last century. As we travel through the ages, it becomes apparent that the invention of algebra was more than the start of a specific discipline of mathematics -- it was also the birth of a new way of thinking that clarified both basic numeric concepts as well as our perception of the world around us. Algebraists broke new ground when they discarded the simple search for solutions to equations and concentrated instead on abstract groups. This dramatic shift in thinking revolutionized mathematics. Written for those among us who are unencumbered by a fear of formulae, Unknown Quantity delivers on its promise to present a history of algebra. Astonishing in its bold presentation of the math and graced with narrative authority, our journey through the world of algebra is at once intellectually satisfying and pleasantly challenging.
Excerpt from The Unknown Quantity She laughed again with a comfortable shaking Of her broad shoulders, and a general screwing up Of her large features that was somehow irresistibly comic. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
Writer and critic Paul Virilio is considered to be one of the most important and incisive contemporary critics of technology and its moral, political and cultural implications. His latest catalogue, published to accompany an exhibition he has conceived for the Foundation Cartier in Paris, examines the philosophical issues raised by our confrontation with accidents and their impact on our world. Accidents capture our attention, surprise or shock us, disrupt or ultimately alter the course of our existence. Whether significant or insignificant, benign or disastrous, accidents always reveal something about ourselves and the systems we construct. For Virilio, to invent the ship is to invent the shipwreck, to invent electricity is to invent electrocution. Accidents are consequently, in his view, inherent in all technological systems. This catalogue features over 200 illustrations, including press photographs, paintings and engravings representing natural and industrial accidents from the past three centuries. It also contains reproductions of the works of the many artists included in the exhibit, most notably Lebbeus Woods, Noncy Robins, Stephen Vitiello, Cai Guo Qiang, Bruce Conner, Ton