Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous IdeaAutor Charles Seife
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 12 oct 2000
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKThe Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Christian Church used it to fend off heretics. Today it's a timebomb ticking in the heart of astrophysics. For zero, infinity's twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything.Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything. Within the concept of zero lies a philosophical and scientific history of humanity.Charles Seife's elegant and witty account takes us from Aristotle to superstring theory by way of Egyptian geometry, Kabbalism, Einstein, the Chandrasekhar limit and Stephen Hawking. Covering centuries of thought, it is a concise tour of a world of ideas, bound up in the simple notion of nothing.
A witty but lucid account... A must for armchair logicians.
A breathless tour of the 'dangerous idea' of zero.
Seife is a gifted explicator of hard science.
Moves from Pythagoras to Hawking, accompanying his arguments with well laid-out graphs. A painless way to acquire complex knowledge.
Chapter 1: Nothing Doing: The Origin of Zero
Chapter 2: Nothing Comes of Nothing: The West Rejects Zero
Chapter 3: Nothing Ventured: Zero Goes East
Chapter 4: The Infinite God of Nothing: The Theology of Zero
Chapter 5: Infinite Zeroes and Infidel Mathematicians: Zero and the Scientific Revolution
Chapter 6: Infinity's Twin: The Infinite Nature of Zero
Chapter 7: Absolute Zeroes: The Physics of Zero
Chapter 8: Zero Hour at Ground Zero: Zero at the Edge of Space and Time
Chapter Infinity: Zero's Final Victory: End Time
Appendix A: Animal, Vegetable, or Minister?
Appendix B: The Golden Ratio
Appendix C: The Modern Definition of a Derivative
Appendix D: Cantor Enumerats the Rational Numbers
Appendix E: Make Your Own Wormhole Time Machine
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for the theory of everything. Line illustrations.