Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
3 journalers for this copy...
Picked up at the Rotary Club Bookarama Book Sale at Burnside High School.
"The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshipped it, and the Christian Church used it to fend off heretics. Today it is a time bomb ticking in the heart of astrophysics.
"Zero follows the number zero from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe and its apotheosis as the mystery of a black hole. Here are the legendary thinkers who battled over the meaning of this mysterious number - scholars and mystics, cosmologists and clergymen whose clashes over zero shook the very foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics and religion. Under every revolution of the last millennium lay a zero."
"...it is a concise tour of a universe of ideas bound up in the simple notion of nothing."
This is an interesting and informative book on the history of mathematics and a bit of physics, linked back to the significance of zero. I like popular science books and this is a good one. At times the drama of the zero seemed a little overhyped (the whole fabric of the universe is at risk kind of thing) but it certainly translated into an amusing read for me. Another bonus is that I learned something which is always nice when you are also having fun.
One little note: the book is definitely written from a western perspective. For a lot of eastern cultures, zero was a far less dramatic concept, a point which is made in the book but it dwells on the drama.
This book is being offered as a bookray. Usual bookray protocol applies, please don't take too long to read it (one month max preferred), PM the next person on the list to pass it on. I will try and sort the participants by geography: FutureCat
(Christchurch) - after 9-June, please
Given to futurecat to kick off the bookray.
Found in my letterbox. I'll try and read it before Sherlockfan comes down at Queen's Birthday, so I can pass it on to her in person.
Fascinating stuff, well presented. Some of the physics is less clearly explained than the maths (understandable, as the author is a mathematician), and there were a couple of points where I felt like he left out some important steps in the logic, but otherwise a great introduction to some fun concepts.
I'll pass it on to Sherlock fan next weekend.
Journal Entry 7
Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, May 31, 2008
Released 12 yrs ago (5/31/2008 UTC) at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Passed on to Sherlockfan.
During an enjoyable gathering chez FutureCat and MrPloppy this book was passed carefully to me and I'm now looking forward to reading it. Will be interesting to see how much of my High School physics will come back when I need to interpret the ideas herein. Several decades later when I went to University after many years of breeding and rearing I found the science of mathematics had moved well outside my comfort zone. The notion of an 'absolute' nearly had me withdrawing from the class and I had to keep getting help from young tutors who could certainly be my sons and even perhaps grandsons. Quite a struggle. Still I made it through and shall with this book I am sure.
Thanks for letting this book loose Gwilk, and thanks FC & MP for a very pleasant evening.
Well, alas time has flown and I'd temporarily mislaid this. Now I'm about to depart overseas and will be away until 20 Sept. MrFan is keen to read it also so unless I hear screams of protest from either Gwilk, or Awhina, who I will let know about this situation, I'll delay its forward passage. Need to know before about mid-day Tuesday if I am to send it on immediately to Awhina.
Journal Entry 10
Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
I was unable to get response from Awhina, nor did gwilk respond when I asked whether, as it is officially a book Ray I could release it.
For too long it has been mouldering on my shelves and it is time for others to have the opportunity to read what is a really interesting and informative book.
Journal Entry 11
Fig Tree Cafe & Delicatessen in Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Released 7 yrs ago (5/8/2013 UTC) at Fig Tree Cafe & Delicatessen in Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Thank you for picking up this book. Please make a journal entry on the BookCrossing site (www.bookcrossing.com) to let me know that this book has found a good home with you. You may choose to remain anonymous or to join (its free). If you join, please consider indicating that you were referred by Sherlockfan. I hope you enjoy the book. You can make another journal entry with your comments when you’ve finished reading. Whenever you’re ready to send it on its way, make a journal entry if you are giving or sending this book to a known person, or release notes if you are leaving it “in the wild” again for anyone to catch. Then watch its journey. You’ll be alerted by e-mail each time someone makes another journal entry. It’s all confidential (you’re known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spam-free.