Poincare's Prize

Poincare's Prize : The Hundred-Year Quest to Solve One of Math's Greatest Puzzles

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The Poincare Conjecture was a holy grail to mathematicians around the world. Decade after decade, the unproven theorem that would help us understand higher dimensional space and, possibly, the shape of the universe defied every effort to solve it. Now, after more than a century, an eccentric Russian recluse has found the solution to one of the seven greatest math problems of our time, earning the right to claim the first one-million-dollar Millennium math prize.George Szpiro begins his masterfully told story in 1904 when Frenchman Henri Poincare formulated a conjecture about a seemingly simple problem. Imagine an ant crawling around on a large surface. How would it know whether the surface is a flat plane, a round sphere, or a bagel-shaped object? The ant would need to lift off from the surface to observe the object from afar, so how could one prove the shape was spherical without actually seeing it? Raise the surface to the next higher dimension, and you have the problem that Poincare sought to solve.In fact, Poincare thought he had solved it but soon realized his proof was flawed. Across generations and around the globe, from China to Texas, great minds stalked the solution in the wilds of higher dimensions.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 144.78 x 208.28 x 30.48mm | 385.55g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • E P Dutton & Co Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0525950249
  • 9780525950240
  • 1,226,611

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228 ratings
3.42 out of 5 stars
5 15% (34)
4 31% (71)
3 39% (90)
2 11% (24)
1 4% (9)
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