In Euclid's Window, Leonard Mlondinow takes us on a brilliantly entertaining journey through 3,000 years of genius and geometry, introducing the people who revolutionized the way we see the world around us.
Ever since Pythagoras hatched a 'little scheme' to invent a set of rules describing the entire universe, scientists and mathematicians have tried to seek order in the cosmos: Euclid, who in 300BC defined the nature of space; Descartes, a fourteenth-century gambler and idler who invented the graph; Gauss, the fifteen-year-old genius who discovered that space is curved; Einstein, who added time to the equation; and Witten, who ushered in today's weird new world of extra, twisted dimensions.
They all show how geometry is the key to understanding the universe. Once you have viewed life through Euclid's Window, it will never be the same again...
'Elegant, attractive and concise ... also very readable. Buy it'
Ian Stewart, New Scientist
'This is an exhilarating book ... an important book ... and finally, a lovely book, one that reflects the radiance of its subject'
'Reader-friendly, high-spirited, splendidly lucid and often hilarious'
'Mlodinow has a talent for lively and clear exposition ... Pythagoras' proof has lost none of its capacity to astonish and delight'
Edward Skidelsky, Daily Telegraph
Leonard Mlodinow was a member of the faculty of the Californian Institute of Technology before moving to Hollywood to become a writer for television. He has developed many best selling and award-winning CD-ROMs and is currently Vice President, Emerging Technologies and R&D at Scholastic Inc. He lives in New York City. His other books include The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal.
Leonard Mlodinow, PhD, was a member of the faculty of the Californian Institute of Technology before moving to Hollywoos to become a writer for televsion. He has developed many best seliing and award-winning CD-ROMs and is currently VIce President,Emerging Technologies and R&D at Scolastic Inc. He lives in New York City.
Part 1 The story of Euclid: the first revolution; the geometry of taxation; among the seven sages; the secret society; Euclid's manifesto; a beautiful woman, a library, and the end of civilization. Part 2 The story of Descartes: the revolution in place; the origin of latitude and longitude; the legacy of the rotten Romans; the discreet charm of the graph; a soldier's story; iced by the snow queen. Part 3 The story of Gauss: the curved space revolution; the trouble with Ptolemy; a Napoleonic hero; the fall of the fifth postulate; lost in hyperbolic space; some insects called the human race; a tale of two aliens; after 2000 years, a face-lift. Part 4 The story of Einstein: revolution at the speed of light; relativity's other Albert; the stuff of space; probationary technical expert, third class; a relatively Euclidean approach; Einstein's apple; from inspiration to perspiration; blue hair triumphs. Part 5 The story of Witten: the weird revolution; ten things I hate about your theory; the necessary uncertainty of being; clash of the Titans; a message in a Kaluza-Klein bottle; the birth of strings; particles, schmarticles!; the trouble with strings; the theory formerly known as strings.