A History of Pi is a non-fiction book by Petr Beckmann that presents a layman’s introduction to the concept of the mathematical constant pi (π). Contents . The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times. Documents the calculation, numerical value, and use of the ratio from B.C. to the modern computer age, detailing social conditions in eras when progress.
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This procedure is, I am persuaded, no less useful even for the proofs of the theorems themselves; for certain things first became clear to me by a mechanical method, although they had to be demonstrated by geometry afterwards because their investigation by the said method did not furnish an actual demonstration. There are, however, some definite historical misrepresentations and oversights. Apparently one does not simply divide 22 by 7.
At one of the sessions, the chairman of the math department came out and said, “This is what we teach in math here at NCSSM. Books by Petr Beckmann.
Common terms and phrases 17th century Alexandria algebraic angle approximation Arabic Archimedean polygons Archimedes arctangent astronomer axioms Babylonians brim calculating calendar Carl Friedrich Gauss century B. I’m sure someone well-versed in math would have gotten more out of it, but I can’t say I pf disappointed.
Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times when pi made progress — and oof when it did not, because science was being stifled by militarism or religious fanaticism.
But since it deals with history, that only affects the most recent history. His last chapter was a bit naive even for the time, IMO. He wrote more than 60 scientific papers and eight technical books. Steev Mathew I really enjoyed the book.
A History of π by Petr Beckmann
It’s a bit dated, especially when the author talks about “modern” attempts to calculate pi on computers and how the current record isdigits as beckmanb2. Beckmann relates some fascinating and rather opinionated stories about the history of mathematics and mathematicians while crossing my eyes with mind-numbing and incomprehensible to me formulae explaining how pi was calculated. There is also a section describing some of the people convinced that they have squared the circle, despite it having been proven that it cannot be done.
In fairness I must add that I have not found a reference to this event anywhere else, and Soviet books are unreliable where competitive religions are concerned. We have failed so far. He also pulls no punches when dealing with forces that have stifled or otherwise countermanded the course bistory scientific and mathematical progress, saving special vitriol for those who burned libraries. Golem Press 1st2nd ed. Likewise I historry trouble keeping relative dates of who lived when straight.
A History of Pi – Petr Beckmann – Google Books
No trivia or quizzes yet. There are no discussion topics on beckmwnn book yet. Oct 09, Jesse rated it it was ok. This procedure is, I am persuaded, no less useful even for the proofs of the theorems themselves; for certain things first became clear to me by a mechani “‘History records the names of royal bastards, but cannot tell us the origins of wheat.
The logical sequence of mathematical proofs as interwoven with the text is surely the strong point of the work.
Future editions should both expand on pi’s use in modern math and update or better, eliminate the preachy Cold War side-notes. Nice book containing historical overview on how pi was computed throughout the centuries.
A History of π
The other amusing side effect is Beckmann’s unmasked distate for those darned communists! Pi through the ages Interesting documentaries on the waves of authoritarianism that pervade human history. Want to Read saving…. I received this book on March 14, during my annual pi day neckmann. An informative and entertaining in places read.
My experience with that teacher is much the same as my experience with Petr Beckmann with this book.