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Dan Rockmore

Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis

Mathematicians, both professional and amateur, find the study of the primes fascinating. However, there are still aspects of them which are not well understood, of which the Riemann Hypothesis is an example. The first part of this book discusses each of the main contributors to the subject, and shows how the different aspects of the Riemann hypothesis fit together. It then gets on to more current work, showing links to some surprising areas of study. Rockmore does an excellent job of making mathematics accessible to the non-mathematician readers, and I cna't help thinking that maybe the eventual solution to the problem will come from someone inspired by this book.

I was a bit irritated at first by the aversion to the use of equations in this book. However, I began to realise that this wasn't in fact so important, as if you want equations they are available elsewhere, and Rockmore does make good use of diagrams and graphs. Also I felt that he gives a much better explanation of the link between the zeros of the zeta function and the distribution of the primes than other books I have read. The final chapter summarizes the current state of work in the area, but it is very short. For instance the work of de Branges is only mentioned briefly - I think Rockmore is keeping away from this controversy.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 304 pages  
ISBN: 0375727728
Salesrank: 1190546
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 2006 Vintage
Amazon price $9.86
Marketplace:New from $5.80:Used from $3.74
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Hardcover 304 pages  
ISBN: 0224062530
Salesrank: 86142
Weight:1.32 lbs
Published: 2005 Jonathan Cape
Marketplace:New from £21.55:Used from £1.28
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 304 pages  
ISBN: 0375727728
Salesrank: 606644
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 2006 Vintage
Amazon price CDN$ 17.66
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 5.93:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
For 150 years the Riemann hypothesis has been the holy grail of mathematics. Now, at a moment when mathematicians are finally moving in on a proof, Dartmouth professor Dan Rockmore tells the riveting history of the hunt for a solution.In 1859 German professor Bernhard Riemann postulated a law capable of describing with an amazing degree of accuracy the occurrence of the prime numbers. Rockmore takes us all the way from Euclid to the mysteries of quantum chaos to show how the Riemann hypothesis lies at the very heart of some of the most cutting-edge research going on today in physics and mathematics.