Einsteins Heroes: Imagining the World through the Language of Mathematics

Paperback | July 15, 2006

byRobyn Arianrhod

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Imagine you are fluent in a magical language of prophecy, a language so powerful it can accurately describe things you cannot see or even imagine. Einstein's Heroes takes you on a journey of discovery about just such a miraculous language--the language of mathematics--one of humanity's mostamazing accomplishments. Blending science, history, and biography, this remarkable book reveals the mysteries of mathematics, focusing on the life and work of three of Albert Einstein's heroes: Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and especially James Clerk Maxwell, whose work directly inspired the theory of relativity. RobynArianrhod bridges the gap between science and literature, portraying mathematics as a language and arguing that a physical theory is a work of imagination involving the elegant and clever use of this language. The heart of the book illuminates how Maxwell, using the language of mathematics in a newand radical way, resolved the seemingly insoluble controversy between Faraday's idea of lines of force and Newton's theory of action-at-a-distance. In so doing, Maxwell not only produced the first complete mathematical description of electromagnetism, but actually predicted the existence of theradio wave, teasing it out of the mathematical language itself. Here then is a fascinating look at mathematics: its colorful characters, its historical intrigues, and above all its role as the uncannily accurate language of nature.

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From the Publisher

Imagine you are fluent in a magical language of prophecy, a language so powerful it can accurately describe things you cannot see or even imagine. Einstein's Heroes takes you on a journey of discovery about just such a miraculous language--the language of mathematics--one of humanity's mostamazing accomplishments. Blending science, ...

Robyn Arianrhod is a writer and mathematician whose passion for both literature and mathematics reflects her love of language. She teaches mathematics at Monash University, where she is also an Honorary Research Associate.

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Hardcover|Sep 6 2012

$23.17 online$34.95list price(save 33%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 5.31 × 7.91 × 0.59 inPublished:July 15, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195308905

ISBN - 13:9780195308907

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"With exceptional skill, Arianrhod makes her subject clearly understood through metaphor, example, and story. She has given us a treasure - a combination of history, biography, and essay that clearly shows how and why the language of mathematics is essential to imagination in modern physics.Her unique book deserves high praise and should be read by anyone who enjoys science writing at its best."--Science and Spirit