The Riemann Hypothesis: The Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics

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9780374529352: The Riemann Hypothesis: The Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics

Since 1859, when the shy German mathematician Bernhard Riemann wrote an eight-page article giving a possible answer to a problem that had tormented mathematical minds for centuries, the world's greatest mathematicians have been fascinated, infuriated, and obsessed with proving the Riemann hypothesis. They speak of it in awed terms and consider it to be an even more difficult problem than Fermat's last theorem, which was finally proven by Andrew Wiles in 1995.

In The Riemann Hypothesis, acclaimed author Karl Sabbagh interviews some of the world's finest mathematicians who have spent their lives working on the problem--and whose approaches to meeting the challenges thrown up by the hypothesis are as diverse as their personalities.

Wryly humorous, lively, accessible and comprehensive, The Riemann Hypothesis is a compelling exploration of the people who do math and the ideas that motivate them to the brink of obsession--and a profound meditation on the ultimate meaning of mathematics.

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About the Author:

Karl Sabbagh is the author of seven books, including A Rum Affair (FSG, 2000). He lives near Stratford-upon-Avon in England.

From Publishers Weekly:

With Fermat's Last Theorem proved, the Riemann Hypothesis has become math's most glamorous unsolved problem, and has spawned a growing literature seeking to explain it to lay readers. Unfortunately, this curious genre is overshadowed by the fact that the hypothesis itself is incomprehensible to anyone without a Ph.D. Sabbagh, author of A Rum Affair, struggles manfully with this problem, and gives impressively lucid explanations of such preliminary subjects as prime numbers, logarithms, infinite series, algebraic equations and matrices. But even with all this background, the hypothesis remains such an opaque abstraction that, at one typically baffling juncture, the author throws up his hands and instructs readers to either "sign up for a few months of complex analysis and number theory, and then pick up the book again in a year or two" or else just "take it on trust." To help elucidate the material, Sabbagh includes many lengthy excerpts from interviews with mathematicians, who, he claims, "see truths with a clarity that is sometimes breathtaking," but these rambling, obscure commentaries ("what's going to probably happen for the real Riemann Hypothesis is there's going to be another blob and there's going to be a function that turns the blob into itself") are not necessarily very helpful. Sabbagh can be a gifted expositor of mathematics when he sticks to more tractable topics, but when it comes to the Riemann Hypothesis, he offers readers veneration instead of understanding. B&w illustrations and graphs.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Sabbagh, Karl
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Descripción Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Since 1859, when the shy German mathematician Bernhard Riemann wrote an eight-page article giving a possible answer to a problem that had tormented mathematical minds for centuries, the world s greatest mathematicians have been fascinated, infuriated, and obsessed with proving the Riemann hypothesis. They speak of it in awed terms and consider it to be an even more difficult problem than Fermat s last theorem, which was finally proven by Andrew Wiles in 1995.In The Riemann Hypothesis, acclaimed author Karl Sabbagh interviews some of the world s finest mathematicians who have spent their lives working on the problem--and whose approaches to meeting the challenges thrown up by the hypothesis are as diverse as their personalities.Wryly humorous, lively, accessible and comprehensive, The Riemann Hypothesis is a compelling exploration of the people who do math and the ideas that motivate them to the brink of obsession--and a profound meditation on the ultimate meaning of mathematics. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780374529352

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Descripción Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Since 1859, when the shy German mathematician Bernhard Riemann wrote an eight-page article giving a possible answer to a problem that had tormented mathematical minds for centuries, the world s greatest mathematicians have been fascinated, infuriated, and obsessed with proving the Riemann hypothesis. They speak of it in awed terms and consider it to be an even more difficult problem than Fermat s last theorem, which was finally proven by Andrew Wiles in 1995.In The Riemann Hypothesis, acclaimed author Karl Sabbagh interviews some of the world s finest mathematicians who have spent their lives working on the problem--and whose approaches to meeting the challenges thrown up by the hypothesis are as diverse as their personalities.Wryly humorous, lively, accessible and comprehensive, The Riemann Hypothesis is a compelling exploration of the people who do math and the ideas that motivate them to the brink of obsession--and a profound meditation on the ultimate meaning of mathematics. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780374529352

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Descripción Farrar, Straus Giroux Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Since 1859, when the shy German mathematician Bernhard Riemann wrote an eight-page article giving a possible answer to a problem that had tormented mathematical minds for centuries, the world s greatest mathematicians have been fascinated, infuriated, and obsessed with proving the Riemann hypothesis. They speak of it in awed terms and consider it to be an even more difficult problem than Fermat s last theorem, which was finally proven by Andrew Wiles in 1995.In The Riemann Hypothesis, acclaimed author Karl Sabbagh interviews some of the world s finest mathematicians who have spent their lives working on the problem--and whose approaches to meeting the challenges thrown up by the hypothesis are as diverse as their personalities.Wryly humorous, lively, accessible and comprehensive, The Riemann Hypothesis is a compelling exploration of the people who do math and the ideas that motivate them to the brink of obsession--and a profound meditation on the ultimate meaning of mathematics. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780374529352

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