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Adding a Dimension

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Hardcover, 205 pages
Published May 1st 1966 by Dobson Books Ltd (first published 1964)
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Jan 11, 2011 Manny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Manny by: My father
I was given a copy of this collection when I was nine or ten, and it permanently changed my attitude to science and mathematics. Nearly all the individual entries are excellent, though I think I'd have to give top billing to the ones on the Michelson-Morley experiment (a negative result can change the whole history of science!) and Cantor's diagonalization argument (there are different kinds of infinities!!)

If you know a bright kid who's run out of interesting things to read, you might want to s
G. Branden
(See my review of The Solar System and Back for my overall impressions of Asimov's essays for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.)

The best of Asimov's F&SF essay collections I have yet read, this title serves up one outstanding article after another. Perhaps surprisingly, this work features only two essays on astronomy, and a plurality (seven of the seventeen) are on mathematical subjects.

Part I--Mathematics

Chapter 1: "T-Formation" (August 1963): large numbers; the googol, the goo
Steve Carroll
call it 4.5. This one is a barely themed collection of essays Asimov wrote for magazines, about half of them are about numbers. This one has essays on infinity, very large numbers, measurement systems, the michaelson-morley experiment that disproved the existence of the ether, and a great story about the eventual discovery of Mendel's work on genetics (he was a monk by trade) by other scientists, blood types, and the true story of Columbus' journey's relationship to the earth being round. (Yes, ...more
Benj FitzPatrick
Not exactly the usual Asimov, but just as well written as the rest of his work. His essays here provide a novel viewpoint wrt science and math. I wish I had read this in high school so I could see if/how my opinion changed after undergrad/grad school.
Another of the Good Doctor's collections from his science/mathematics column in the magazine Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Marcia Oliveira
I'm having so much fun!
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered the most prolific writer of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine of the te
More about Isaac Asimov...
Foundation (Foundation, #1) I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)

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“A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension.

I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow.

In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze.

I had fallen victim to the fallacy of the 'growing edge;' the belief that only the very frontier of scientific advance counted; that everything that had been left behind by that advance was faded and dead.

But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration. It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning.

There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. 'If I have seen further than other men,' said Isaac Newton, 'it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”
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