Infinite Powers

书名:Infinite PowersHowCalculusRevealstheSecretsoftheUniverse
豆瓣评分: 9.1


From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a brilliant and endlessly appealing explanation of calculus – how it works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better. Without calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket. Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down‑to‑earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number—infinity—to tackle real‑world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous. Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves (a phenomenon predicted by calculus). Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes “backwards” sometimes; how to make electricity with magnets; how to ensure your rocket doesn’t miss the moon; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS. As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew.


STEVEN STROGATZ is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. A renowned teacher and one of the world’s most highly cited mathematicians, he has blogged about math for the New York Times and The New Yorker and has been a frequent guest on Radiolab and Science Friday. He is the author of Sync and The Joy of x. He lives in Ithaca, New York.


@ 密码有误 Strogatz文笔好好啊, 是那种不骄不躁娓娓道来的学者气质. 整本书的结构就是一部微积分的通史, 从阿基米德时代对无限的朴素认识, 到伽利略和开普勒, 到笛卡尔和费马, 到牛顿和莱布尼茨, 再到"贵宾头婴儿脸"的傅里叶, 每一代人都从每个时代的理论和认识局限中做出了有限的突破. 而把所有这些 delta 加起来, 再回过头来看当代数学庞大的体系, 以及其能够或不能解决的问题, 就特别能够 appreciate "edifice" 这个比喻, 它的基奠, 以及它未来的命运. @ 坎顾 7分,最后两章坚持不下去了,因为实在不懂sinx和微积分的联系到底在哪,又讲了这么多,除此以外都认真看了,适合大学学习高数微积分板块时同步阅读。另外记住了抛物线和直线所围图形面积是直线与抛物线的两个交点以及与该直线平行的直线与抛物线的切点所组成三角形的4/3(好绕啊,过段时间不知道还读不读的懂)。还有我终于了解了牛顿和莱不尼兹龃龉的始末,莱不尼兹可真是的天才啊,半路入行竟然能有如此之成就,当然牛顿精通范围更广,更了不起,不过性格不行,同理笛卡尔(竟然因为给女王上课要早起搞得因此生病死了)。


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