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Euler's Gem: The Polyhedron Formula and the Birth of Topology

9780691191379
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How a simple equation reshaped mathematics

Leonhard Euler’s polyhedron formula describes the structure of many objects—from soccer balls and gemstones to Buckminster Fuller’s buildings and giant all-carbon molecules. Yet Euler’s theorem is so simple it can be explained to a child. From ancient Greek geometry to today’s cutting-edge research, Euler’s Gem celebrates the discovery of Euler’s beloved polyhedron formula and its far-reaching impact on topology, the study of shapes. Using wonderful examples and numerous illustrations, David Richeson presents this mathematical idea’s many elegant and unexpected applications, such as showing why there is always some windless spot on earth, how to measure the acreage of a tree farm by counting trees, and how many crayons are needed to color any map. Filled with a who’s who of brilliant mathematicians who questioned, refined, and contributed to a remarkable theorem’s development, Euler’s Gem will fascinate every mathematics enthusiast. This paperback edition contains a new preface by the author.

Cover:
Paperback
Edition Number:
1
ISBN:
9780691191379
Pages:
336
Author:
Richeson David
Publisher:
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS
Release Year:
2019

David S. Richeson is professor of mathematics at Dickinson College.

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