342 books
—
502 voters
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Yearning for the Impossible: The Surprising Truths of Mathematics” as Want to Read:
Yearning for the Impossible: The Surprising Truths of Mathematics
by
This book explores the history of mathematics from the perspective of the creative tension between common sense and the "impossible" as the author follows the discovery or invention of new concepts that have marked mathematical progress:  Irrational and Imaginary Numbers  The Fourth Dimension  Curved Space  Infinity and others The author puts these creations into a bro
...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published
May 23rd 2006
by A K PETERS
(first published May 22nd 2006)
Friend Reviews
To see what your friends thought of this book,
please sign up.
Reader Q&A
To ask other readers questions about
Yearning for the Impossible,
please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Yearning for the Impossible
Community Reviews
(showing 130)
I quite enjoyed this book. It deals with subjects in mathematics which were once considered "impossible", but which were later addressed in a surprising and fascinating voyage of intellectual discovery.
 The first chapter, on the irrationals, is quite nice  the concepts are explained nicely and clearly.
 The second chapter, about the imaginary and the complex numbers, is quite nice too. But I must say that I was left a bit disappointed here:
a) yes there are very nice points about the geometry ...more
 The first chapter, on the irrationals, is quite nice  the concepts are explained nicely and clearly.
 The second chapter, about the imaginary and the complex numbers, is quite nice too. But I must say that I was left a bit disappointed here:
a) yes there are very nice points about the geometry ...more
I like this book quite a bit. The writing is good, but the metaphor becomes extended and forced. The idea is that much of what we need to calculate things that have real existence comes from a consideration of mathematics thought to be impossible (or irrational, or imaginary). It's very well done, but I felt that I "got it" about halfway through. I think it is time for me to read some shorter essays and popular excursions on mathematical topics.
Many of the mathematical ideas once considered impossible
This is one of those books where I dislike the title, yet love the content. Mathematicians generally go where the necessity and reasoning takes them, so it is a misnomer to claim that they have a yearning for the impossible. Also, to argue that mathematical results are impossible at some point then are considered routine later is incorrect.
As mathematical knowledge has expanded, new discoveries sometimes contradict and in all cases exte ...more
This is one of those books where I dislike the title, yet love the content. Mathematicians generally go where the necessity and reasoning takes them, so it is a misnomer to claim that they have a yearning for the impossible. Also, to argue that mathematical results are impossible at some point then are considered routine later is incorrect.
As mathematical knowledge has expanded, new discoveries sometimes contradict and in all cases exte ...more
Dec 22, 2007
Jilany
added it
toread
There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Be the first to start one »
Nonfiction Deals

$10.74 $1.99

$13.95 $1.99

$10.99 $2.99

$11.74 $2.99

$9.99 $2.99

$9.24 $1.99

$9.24 $1.99

$9.74 $2.99

$8.24 $1.99

$27.99 $4.99

$12.99 $1.99

$7.99 $1.99

$14.95 $1.99

$12.99 $1.99

$9.49 $1.99

$10.24 $1.99

$11.99 $2.99

$10.74 $2.99

$5.99 $1.99

$8.24 $1.99

$14.99 $1.99

$11.99 $2.99

$6.99 $2.99

$9.99 $2.99

$8.74 $1.99

$10.49 $2.99

$9.99 $2.99

$8.24 $1.99

$9.99 $1.99

$9.74 $1.99

$3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »