Prime Obsession
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Prime Obsession

4.08 (2,743 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The definitive story of the Riemann Hypothesis, a fascinating and epic mathematical mystery that continues to challege the world. In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two year old mathematician, made a hypothesis while presenting a paper to the Berlin Academy titled "On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity." Today, after 150 years of careful research and exhaustive study, the Riemann Hyphothesis remains unsolved, with a one-million-dollar prize earmarked for the first person to conquer it.

Alternating passages of extraordinarily lucid mathematical exposition with chapters of elegantly composed biography and history, Prime Obsession is a fascinating and fluent account of an epic mathematical mystery that continues to challenge and excite the world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 140 x 203 x 19mm | 363g
  • PLUME
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0452285259
  • 9780452285255
  • 69,606

Table of contents

Prologue

Part I: The Prime Number Theorem

Chapter 1: Card Trick
Chapter 2: The Soil, the Crop
Chapter 3: The Prime Number Theorem
Chapter 4: On the Shoulders of Giants
Chapter 5: Riemann's Zeta Function
Chapter 6: The Great Fusion
Chapter 7: The Golden Key, and an Improved Prime Number Theorem
Chapter 8: Not Altogether Unworthy
Chapter 9: Domain Stretching
Chapter 10: A Proof and a Turning Point

Part II: The Riemann Hypothesis

Chapter 11: Nine Zulu Queens Ruled China
Chapter 12: Hilbert's Eighth Problem
Chapter 13: The Argument Ant and the Value Ant
Chapter 14: In the Grip of an Obsession
Chapter 15: Big Oh and M
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Review Text

"Derbyshire's attempt to take nonmathematicians into this subject had me on the edge of my seat."-Los Angeles Times

"Riemann and his colleagues come to life as real characters and not just adjectives for conjectures and theorems."-Scientific American
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Review quote

"Derbyshire's attempt to take nonmathematicians into this subject had me on the edge of my seat."--Los Angeles Times "Riemann and his colleagues come to life as real characters and not just adjectives for conjectures and theorems."--Scientific American
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About John Derbyshire

JOHN DERBYSHIRE is a contributing editor for National Review, where he writes a regular column. He also contributes regularly to National Review Online and writes frequently for a number of other publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the American Conservative, the Washington Examiner, and the New Criterion. In addition to his opinion journalism, he writes on the subject of mathematics and is the author of the books Prime Obsession and Unknown Quantity. His novel, Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream, was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A native of England, Derbyshire now lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife and two children.
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Rating details

2,743 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 40% (1,093)
4 36% (986)
3 18% (505)
2 4% (111)
1 2% (48)
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