Beyond Reason: Eight Great Problems That Reveal the Limits by A. K. Dewdney

By A. K. Dewdney

A mind-bending expedition to the boundaries of technological know-how and mathematics
Are a few medical difficulties insoluble? In past cause, the world over acclaimed math and technology writer A. okay. Dewdney solutions this query by means of interpreting 8 insurmountable mathematical and medical roadblocks that experience stumped thinkers around the centuries, from old mathematical conundrums comparable to "squaring the circle," first tried by way of the Pythagoreans, to G?del's vexing theorem, from perpetual movement to the upredictable habit of chaotic structures akin to the weather.
A. ok. Dewdney, PhD (Ontario, Canada), used to be the writer of medical American's "Computer Recreations" column for 8 years. He has written a number of severely acclaimed well known math and technological know-how books, together with A Mathematical secret travel

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Extra info for Beyond Reason: Eight Great Problems That Reveal the Limits of Science

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In his paper Einstein derived equations of great generality that enabled him not only 46 Math in the Cosmos to declare that the radiation emitted by certain heated bodies must consist of individual particles of light, but also to explain the photoelectric effect using the new theory. What the German physicist Max Planck had hypothesized only five years earlier—that under some circumstances, light was best considered as occurring in tiny packets called quanta— Einstein demonstrated to be real. The photon was born, or, should we say, discovered.

Could the speed of light be constant and independent of the speed of the observer? How could that be? Einstein completed his degree at the Zurich institute in 1900 but, owing to uneasy relations with one of his professors, did not get the equivalent of a postgraduate position. Thus he was thrown into a patchwork academic life of short-term teaching posts while he worked on his doctoral thesis on the kinetic theory of gases. By 1902 he had finished the thesis and had found a job at the Swiss patent office, in which he held the post of technical expert, charged with examining patents for inventions that depended on tricky physical effects.

Already Einstein could see that the only way out was to presume that somehow the laws of electromagnetism would be different for an observer at rest and one traveling at the speed of light. Since Maxwell’s equations were unlikely to be wrong, the only remaining possibility would be that nothing could travel that fast; so far had the young Einstein reasoned in his youth. To know the kind of question one might be pursuing at the end of formal schooling gave an inestimable advantage. On the other hand, Einstein’s education was anything but smooth.

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