How can we be sure that Pythagoras's theorem is really true? Why is the 'angle in a semicircle' always 90 degrees? And how can tangents help determine the speed of a bullet? David Acheson takes the reader on a highly illustrated tour through the history of geometry, from ancient Greece to the present day. He emphasizes throughout elegant deduction and practical applications, and argues that geometry can offer the quickest route to the whole spirit of mathematics at its best. Along the way, we encounter the quirky and the unexpected, meet the great personalities involved, and uncover some of the loveliest surprises in mathematics.
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
01 December 2020
1: Introduction 2: Getting Started 3: Euclid's Elements 4: Thales' Theorem 5: Geometry in Action 6: Pythagoras' Theorem 7: 'In Love with Geometry'? 8: 'Imagine my exultation, Watson...' 9: Congruence and Similarity 10: Conversely... 11: Circle Theorems 12: Off at a Tangent 13: From Tangents to Supersonic Flow 14: What is pi, exactly? 15: The Story of the Ellipse 16: Geometry by Coordinates 17: Geometry and Calculus 18: A Royal Road to Geometry? 19: Unexpected Meetings 20: Ceva's Theorem 21: A Kind of Symmetry 22: 'Pyracy' in Woolwich? 23: Fermat's Problem 24: A Soap Solution 25: Geometry in 'The Ladies' Diary' 26: What Euclid Did 27: Euclid on Parallel Lines 28: 'A New Theory of Parallels'? 29: Anti-Euclid? 30: When Geometry Goes Wrong... 31: New Angles on Geometry 32: And Finally...
David Acheson is an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and the University's first winner of a National Teaching Fellowship, in 2004. He was President of the Mathematical Association from 2010 to 2011, and now lectures widely on mathematics to young people and the general public. In 2013, Acheson was awarded an Honorary D.Sc. by the University of East Anglia for his outstanding work in the popularisation of mathematics. His books include 1089 and All That (OUP, 2002), and The Calculus Story, (OUP, 2017).
Reviews for The Wonder Book of Geometry: A Mathematical Story
There is no better tour guide to the wonders of geometry than the delightful David Acheson. * Matt Parker, author of Humble Pi: A Comedy of Maths Errors and Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension *