Pi: A Biography of the World’s Most Mysterious Number
Alfred S Posamentier, Ingmar Lehmann
158 x 240 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Universities Press

Out Of Stock


PI - this seemingly mundane number-holds a world of mystery, which has fascinated mathematicians from ancient times to the present. What is PI? What is the real value of PI? How do mathematicians determine the value of PI? In what ways is PI used? How was it calculated in ancient times? Its elusive nature has led investigators over the years to ever-closer approximations. In this delightful introduction to one of math's most interesting phenomena, Drs Posamentier and Lehmann review PI's history from prebiblical times to the twenty-first century and the many amusing and often mind-boggling attempts to estimate its precise value. They show how this ubiquitous number comes up when you least expect it, such as in the calculation of probabilities and in biblical scholarship. In addition, they present some quirky examples of obsessing about PI over the centuries--including an attempt to legislate its exact value, and even a PI song--as well as useful applications of PI in everyday life. Among its many attributes, mathematicians call PI a `transcendental number' because its curious value cannot be calculated by any combination of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or square root extraction. More curious still, regardless of the number of decimal places to which you extend the value of PI, the decimal never repeats itself. In 2002 a Japanese professor using a supercomputer calculated the value to 1.24 trillion decimal places! Nonetheless, in this huge string of decimals there is no periodic repetition. This enlightening, intriguing, and stimulating approach to mathematics will entertain and fascinate readers while honing their mathematical literacy.

Alfred S. Posamentier, PhD, is dean of the School of Education and professor of mathematics at the City College of the City University of New York. He has published over thirty four books in the area of mathematics and mathematics education, including the acclaimed `Math Charmers: Tantalizing Tidbits for the Mind' Igmar Lehmann, PhD, is a member of the mathematics department a the Humboldt University in Berlin. He is the author of numerous mathematics books in Germany and heads the society of gifted mathematics students in Berlin.

Chapter 1            What Is p
Chapter 2            The History of p
Chapter 3            Calculating the Value of p
Chapter 4            p Enthusiasts
Chapter 5            p Curiosities
Chapter 6            Applications of p
Chapter 7            Paradox in p
Afterword by Dr Herbert A Hauptman
Appendix A        A Three-Dimensional Example of a Rectilinear Equivalent to a Circular Measurement
Appendix B         Ramanujan’s Work
Appendix C         Proof That ep > pe
Appendix D        A Rioe around the Regular Polygons

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