A History of Pi – Petr Beckmann



A History of Pi

Petr Beckman

©1971, The Golem Press

1993 Ed. Barnes &Noble, Inc

ISBN  0-88029-418-3

Rating: 1 of 5  I will not finish reading this book.

I think this is a poorly written book.  His history is uneven. He often makes statements that I think demand explanation, and his explanations are weak (kind of like this sentence).  I do not follow his proofs.  Much of this may be due to a lack of definitions.  The figures do not help, because he refers to them in unclear (or even misleading) ways.  I think the editor had no understanding of the topic.  The editor was out of this league.

The author shows that this topic has the potential for an interesting book.  However, this is not it.  I have many other books to read, and will stop wasting my time on this one – right now.

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Newton’s Clock – Ivars Peterson

Newton’s Clock: Chaos in the Solar System

Ivars Peterson

W.H.Freeman and Company, New York

ISBN 0-717-2396-4

QB351.P48 1993

Rating: 5 of 5  This book gave me a new appreciation for difficulty of the many-body problem, and what insights are possible.  It gave me a new respect for those people who pursue those difficult problems.

One of the opportunities I have during retirement is to revisit my library, to reread books I have enjoyed in the past, and to read some of the books I bought, but never got around to reading. This is one of those books I’ve had for a long time, possibly over 20 years, but never read. Now I wish I had read it much earlier. I’d like to have read it while in graduate school. However it was not yet available, indeed much of the work discussed, had not been accomplished yet.

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