In Pursuit of the Unknown
17 Equations That Changed the World

 $13.99

 $13.99
Publisher Description
The seventeen equations that form the basis for life as we know it.
Most people are familiar with history's great equations: Newton's Law of Gravity, for instance, or Einstein's theory of relativity. But the way these mathematical breakthroughs have contributed to human progress is seldom appreciated. In In Pursuit of the Unknown, celebrated mathematician Ian Stewart untangles the roots of our most important mathematical statements to show that equations have long been a driving force behind nearly every aspect of our lives.
Using seventeen of our most crucial equations  including the Wave Equation that allowed engineers to measure a building's response to earthquakes, saving countless lives, and the BlackScholes model, used by bankers to track the price of financial derivatives over time  Stewart illustrates that many of the advances we now take for granted were made possible by mathematical discoveries.
An approachable, lively, and informative guide to the mathematical building blocks of modern life, In Pursuit of the Unknown is a penetrating exploration of how we have also used equations to make sense of, and in turn influence, our world.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Stewart (Game, Set, and Math) shares his enthusiasm as well as his knowledge in this tour of groundbreaking equations and the research they supported. "Equations are the lifeblood of mathematics, science, and technology," allowing scientists, engineers, and even economists to quantify ideas and concepts. Stewart, Warwick University emeritus professor of mathematics, proceeds chronologically, beginning with Pythagoras' theorem. He opens each chapter with an equation, then summarizes its importance and the technological developments it brought about. Many of the equations are famous, from Maxwell's equations unifying electricity and magnetism, and of course Einstein's "E=mc ", to Schr dinger's equation and its unhappy cat. Some are broader mathematical concepts rather than equations, from logarithms and calculus to chaos theory. Two surprising inclusions are the math behind information theory, created by Claude Shannon, and the infamous BlackScholes equation aka the "Midas" formula, which describes how the price of a stock derivative changes over time (which he implicates in the current financial crisis). Stewart assembles an entertaining and illuminating collection of curious facts and histories suitable for random dippingin or reading straight through.