Leonard Mlodinow

Euclid's Window

In this book Mloninlow describes the history of geometry and its relation to other branches of science. The book progresses via the stories of five main characters, starting with Euclid and his 'Elements', then showing how Descartes linked geometry and algebra. It then looks at how Gauss initiated work on noneuclidean geometries, and shows how Einstein used this in the development of general relativity. The last part of the book concerns string theory and its development by Ed Witten. Mlodinow maintains his sense of humour throughout giving a very readable book, which is understandable by the non-technical reader.

Although the book has five main characters, it is not restricted to these people, rather it gives a history of much of geometry, in particular the development and use of noneuclidean geometries. Mlodinow explains the geometrical concepts as required, and does so very well. Sometimes I felt that another diagram would have helped the reader, but maybe this would have changed the book from one on the history of geometry to trying to teach the reader geometry, which would have changed the style of the book.

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Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0141009098
Salesrank: 2788077
Published: 2007 Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0141009098
Salesrank: 283451
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2003 Penguin
Amazon price £9.99
Marketplace:New from £4.18:Used from £0.89
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Paperback 320 pages  
ISBN: 0141009098
Salesrank: 4386083
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2003 Penguin UK
Amazon price CDN$ 9.48
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 8.65:Used from CDN$ 5.56
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Product Description
In Euclid's Window, Leonard Mlondinow takes us on a brilliantly entertaining journey through 3,000 years of genius and geometry, introducing the people who revolutionized the way we see the world around us. Ever since Pythagoras hatched a 'little scheme' to invent a set of rules describing the entire universe, scientists and mathematicians have tried to seek order in the cosmos: Euclid, who in 300BC defined the nature of space; Descartes, a fourteenth-century gambler and idler who invented the graph; Gauss, the fifteen-year-old genius who discovered that space is curved; Einstein, who added time to the equation; and Witten, who ushered in today's weird new world of extra, twisted dimensions. They all show how geometry is the key to understanding the universe. Once you have viewed life through Euclid's Window, it will never be the same again... 'Elegant, attractive and concise ... also very readable. Buy it' Ian Stewart, New Scientist 'This is an exhilarating book ... an important book ... and finally, a lovely book, one that reflects the radiance of its subject' David Berlinski 'Reader-friendly, high-spirited, splendidly lucid and often hilarious' Washington Post 'Mlodinow has a talent for lively and clear exposition ... Pythagoras' proof has lost none of its capacity to astonish and delight' Edward Skidelsky, Daily Telegraph Leonard Mlodinow was a member of the faculty of the Californian Institute of Technology before moving to Hollywood to become a writer for television. He has developed many best selling and award-winning CD-ROMs and is currently Vice President, Emerging Technologies and R&D at Scholastic Inc. He lives in New York City. His other books include The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal.