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Tales of Impossibility

The 2000-Year Quest to Solve the Mathematical Problems of Antiquity

David S. Richeson



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Princeton University Pres
08 October 2019
A comprehensive look at four of the most famous problems in mathematics
Tales of Impossibility recounts the intriguing story of the renowned problems of antiquity, four of the most famous and studied questions in the history of mathematics. First posed by the ancient Greeks, these compass and straightedge problems-squaring the circle, trisecting
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780691192963
ISBN 10:   0691192960
Pages:   456
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  General/trade ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David S. Richeson is professor of mathematics at Dickinson College and editor of Math Horizons. He is the author of Euler's Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology (Princeton). Twitter @divbyzero

Reviews for Tales of Impossibility: The 2000-Year Quest to Solve the Mathematical Problems of Antiquity

I greatly enjoyed Richeson's Tales of Impossibility. It deserves to become a classic and can be highly recommended. ---Robin Wilson, Times Higher Education Even if you never read a single proof through to its conclusion, you'll enjoy the many entertaining side trips into a geometry far beyond what you learned in high school. ---Jim Stein, New Books in Mathematics The whole book, both informative and amusing, is a highly recommended read. ---Adhemar Bulteel, European Mathematical Society This book was a pleasure to read and I would recommend it for anybody who wants a lovely overview of many areas of the history of mathematics, with a focus on some very easy to understand problems. ---Jonathan Shock, Mathemafrica Richeson clearly explains what it means to be impossible to solve a problem, cites other impossibility results, goes into detail about geometric constructions with various instruments, and discusses the defective proofs and the cranks that have turned up along the way. * Mathematics Magazine * This fascinating text will appeal to all those interested in the history of mathematics, not leasy because of its helpful notes on each chapter and its two dozen pages of references for further reading ---Laurence E. Nicholas CMath FIMA, Mathematics Today

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