Unknown Quantity
29%
off

Unknown Quantity : A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra

3.85 (520 ratings on Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 134.62 x 200.66 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • PLUME
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0452288533
  • 9780452288539
  • 179,162

Review quote

Both compelling and easy to follow. ("Library Journal")show more

About John Derbyshire

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.show more
Book ratings on Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X