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Mathematics and the Physical World (Dover Books on Mathematics) [Paperback]

Morris Kline
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £18.99
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Book Description

28 Mar 2003 Dover Books on Mathematics
Stimulating account of development of mathematics from arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, to calculus, differential equations and non-Euclidean geometries. Also describes how math is used in optics, astronomy, motion under the law of gravitation, acoustics, electromagnetism, other phenomena. 147 illustrations.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (28 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486241041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486241043
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 275,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 28 Dec 2006
This book is a great introduction or even recap of much f fundamental mathematics and physics. I greatly recommend this to anyone who has ever been interested in mathematics or how it affects physics and the world around us, but has been to afraid of the maths itself, as it is pretty easy to go through, yet still boasts great scope.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rekindle your interest in maths 2 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wonderful writing and clarity. A great way for the everyman to renew an interest in the maths behind the real world. Of course, a bit dated (log tables - remember those!) and wouldn't it be wonderful if their were a successor to Professor Kline capable of writing a modern update of this wonderful book
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a ideal introduction to Mathematical Physics. It can be read by anyone with a basic grasp of O level Maths.
It is chronological in order and it's strength is it covers only Classical Physics. To cover Modern Physics would be to much. Rereading the chapter Mathematical Oscillations of the Ether made me realise that you can only understand Einstein if you have first understood Newton.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
95 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the BEST basic review of Applied Mathematics.. 24 Jan 2001
By Kersi Von Zerububbel - Published on
This book is geared to the general reader who has a cursory knowledge of mathematics. The chapters are organized around physical phenomena and the math behind their explanation. The result is a charming and VERY useful book. I have the 1970 edition which is quite worn from frequent use. The chapter titled, Differential Equations - The Heart Of Analysis, is exceptionally beautiful and pertinent. Reading this book is akin to a treasure hunt. There is page after page of mathematical discovery. Reading the chapter on Motion Of Projectiles made me terribly angry at the banal way in which this topic is handled in high school texts. Things such as quadratic equations and the law of gravitation are explained very well. I sincerely believe that this book should be a required text for High School math students. Highly recommended. The Dover edition is very affordable so even if it means foregoing a meal, do it. Buy this book! Well worth your time.
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tasty Mix of Math and History 12 May 2000
By Peter A. Farrell - Published on
Kline's book is a surprisingly accessible history of math, equations and all. It's a perfect balance for those who know their history and want to know more about the math behind scientific ideas, and those who know their math and want to delve into the practical applications of mathematical ideas.
I loved the examination of how Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth pretty accurately for a guy without so much as a telescope. I had terrific "aha" experiences reading the book, and the students I tutor in math are getting a bunch of interesting background stories with their algebra lessons.
Galileo's and Newton's calculations are a great way for the theoretically inclined to get their feet wet in physics. For all of us mathematicians who actually thought math developed in a vacuum, this book has excellent examples of how inextricably linked math, science and history are.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish this had been my physics textbook ... 23 Mar 2007
By CubeBoy - Published on
I still have a hard time deciding if this is a book about math or physics, but actually, it's about both. Kline follows the history of physics beginning with the Greeks as a way to describe the evolution of mathematics up to the 20th century, and he does it brilliantly.

Kline is a master teacher, and his enthusiasm for his subject is evident. This is probably the clearest writing on mathematics (and physics) that I have ever seen. His chapters on the differential and integral calculus make their basic principles understandable to anyone with a high-school mathematics education -- not an easy task.

He shows how again and again through history, problems in physics led to mathematical discoveries which not only allowed the physical problems to be solved, but also advanced mathematics itself. And yet nowhere in the book is anything beyond simple algebra and geometry required to understand what he's saying. A remarkable achievement.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, Interesting and Accessible to All 19 May 2000
By Patrick K Notz - Published on
I agree with the above review and would simply like to add my own thoughts. The book illustrates the fascinating way in which mathematics, society, religion, politics and of course physics have affected each other (it goes both ways!) through out the ages. Furthermore, the author nicely illustrates the processes by which people think and how those processes have also changed through the ages (i.e., The Age of Reason versus The Renisance). This book left me with real insights as to the nature and limitations of the current state of mathematics and physics. Things are not as they seem, my friend! Lastly, the author displays an appreciation for the humor and irony of the history which makes this book hard to put down at times. I never thought a math/history book could be a "page turner"... Read it.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A de-mystification of mathematics. 2 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on
In most mathematics classes, students are presented with a completed edifice, and given a floor plan to help them navigate the halls. While this approach works for many people, others need a little more basic information. In this book, Morris Kline builds the building, starting with the mud and straw of the bricks.
"Mathematics in Western Culture" shows that the history of mathematics is one of hundreds of years of people sitting in the sand, drawing shapes and lines, scratching their heads, and trying to figure things out. This is not necessarily Dr. Kline's intention for the book, but this is certainly one of the many messages to be derived from it.
A fascinating, exciting book which makes mathematics more understandable and accessible.
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