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Books similar to Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
3.96 avg. rating
· 7750 Ratings
The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. For centuries, the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it be…
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A History of π
3.96 avg. rating
· 2334 Ratings
The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of mathematics, is nevertheless a mirror of the history of man. Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the …
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Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem
xn + yn = zn, where n represents 3, 4, 5, solution

"I have discovered a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain."

With these words, the sevente…
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Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics
Like masterpieces of art, music, and literature, great mathematical theorems are creative milestones, works of genius destined to last forever. Now William Dunham gives them the attention they deserve…
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An Imaginary Tale: The Story of the Square Root of Minus One
In An Imaginary Tale, Paul Nahin tells the 2000-year-old history of one of mathematics' most elusive numbers, the square root of minus one, also known as i, re-creating the baffling mathematical probl…
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Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics
In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two year old mathematician, made a hypothesis while presenting a paper to the Berlin Academy titled “On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Q…
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The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number
Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tal…
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e: the Story of a Number
3.93 avg. rating
· 1736 Ratings
The interest earned on a bank account, the arrangement of seeds in a sunflower, and the shape of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis are all intimately connected with the mysterious number e. In this inform…
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The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
A world-class mathematician and regular contributor to the New York Times hosts a delightful tour of the greatest ideas of math, revealing how it connects to literature, philosophy, law, medicine, art…
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Prelude to Mathematics
4.07 avg. rating
· 58 Ratings
"No mathematician can be a complete mathematician unless he is also something of a poet." — K. Weierstrass
In this lively and stimulating account, noted mathematician and educator W. W. Sawyer (Profess…
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4.23 avg. rating
· 271 Ratings
For seven years, Paul Lockhart s "A Mathematician s Lament" enjoyed a samizdat-style popularity in the mathematics underground, before demand prompted its 2009 publication to even wider applause and d…
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The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
The tale of a relationship between a young Indian mathematics genius, Ramanujan, and his tutor at Cambridge University, G.H. Hardy, in the years before World War I. Through their eyes the reader is ta…
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The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero
A symbol for what is not there, an emptiness that increases any number it's added to, an inexhaustible and indispensable paradox. As we enter the year 2000, zero is once again making its presence felt…
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The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
At some point during the last 100,000 years, humans began exhibiting traits and behavior that distinguished us from other animals, eventually creating language, art, religion, bicycles, spacecraft, an…
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Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension
- Cut pizzas in new and fairer ways!
- Fit a 2p coin through an impossibly small hole!
- Make a perfect regular pentagon by knotting a piece of paper!
- Tie your shoes faster than ever before, saving lit…
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The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
In his first book since the bestselling Fermat’s Enigma, Simon Singh offers the first sweeping history of encryption, tracing its evolution and revealing the dramatic effects codes have had on wars, n…
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Finding Zero: A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers
The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got…
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Imagining Numbers
3.33 avg. rating
· 106 Ratings
Shows how the art of mathematical imagining is not as mysterious as it seems. This book reveals how anyone can begin to visualize the enigmatic 'imaginary numbers' that first baffled mathematicians in…
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What Is Mathematics?: An Elementary Approach to Ideas and Methods
For more than two thousand years a familiarity with mathematics has been regarded as an indispensable part of the intellectual equipment of every cultured person. Today, unfortunately, the traditional…
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The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics
In 1859, German mathematician Bernhard Riemann presented a paper to the Berlin Academy that would forever change the history of mathematics. The subject was the mystery of prime numbers. At the heart …
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The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of  Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth
Based on a National Magazine Award-winning article, this masterful biography of Hungarian-born Paul Erdos is both a vivid portrait of an eccentric genius and a layman's guide to some of this century's…
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QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
Famous the world over for the creative brilliance of his insights into the physical world, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman also possessed an extraordinary talent for explaining difficult…
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Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
An illuminating portrayal of Richard Feynman—a giant of twentieth century physics—from his childhood tinkering with radios, to his vital work on the Manhattan Project and beyond

Raised in Depression-e…
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Nature's Numbers: The Unreal Reality Of Mathematics
"It appears to us that the universe is structured in a deeply mathematical way. Falling bodies fall with predictable accelerations. Eclipses can be accurately forecast centuries in advance. Nuclear po…
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Chaos: Making a New Science
4.01 avg. rating
· 27796 Ratings
Few writers distinguish themselves by their ability to write about complicated, even obscure topics clearly and engagingly. In Chaos, James Gleick, a former science writer for the New York Times, show…
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A Tour of the Calculus
3.72 avg. rating
· 1233 Ratings
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could c…
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Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
Dozens of examples in innumeracy show us how it affects not only personal economics and travel plans, but explains mis-chosen mates, inappropriate drug-testing, and the allure of pseudo-science.
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The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless
For a thousand years, infinity has proven to be a difficult and illuminating challenge for mathematicians and theologians. It certainly is the strangest idea that humans have ever thought. Where did i…
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The Second Kind of Impossible: The Extraordinary Quest for a New Form of Matter
*Shortlisted for the 2019 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize*

One of the most fascinating scientific detective stories of the last fifty years, an exciting quest for a new form of mat…
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Gödel's Proof
4.15 avg. rating
· 3876 Ratings
In 1931 Kurt Gödel published his fundamental paper, "On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems." This revolutionary paper challenged certain basic assumptions u…
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Men of Mathematics
4.10 avg. rating
· 1736 Ratings

Here is the classic, much-read introduction to the craft and history of mathematics by E.T. Bell, a leading figure in mathematics in America for half a century. Men of Mathematics accessibly explains …
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