From Newton's Law of Gravity to the Black-Scholes model used by bankers to predict the markets, equations, are everywhere - and they are fundamental to everyday life.
Seventeen Equations that Changed the World examines seventeen groundbreaking equations that have altered the course of human history. He explores how Pythagoras's Theorem led to GPS and SatNav; how logarithms are applied in architecture; why imaginary numbers were important in the development of the digital camera, and what is really going on with Schrödinger's cat.
Entertaining, surprising and vastly informative, Seventeen Equations that Changed the World is a highly original exploration - and explanation - of life on earth.
From the Back Cover
Can two sets of numbers and symbols separated by an equals sign really change the world? Yes! And not only that: they can reveal the laws of nature and unlock the secrets of the universe.
Ian Stewart shows how equations open new vistas of experience, from electronics and global communications to radar, lasers, space craft and the atom bomb. His narrative spans two and half millennia, from the ancient Greeks to the seductive formulation that recently guided the world's banking systems to near-oblivion. He shows how insights in one era often inform work centuries later: Pythogoras's theorem inspired Einstein and, yet more curiously, the stumbling calculations of a sixteenth-century gambler led to an impossible number that became a key to the baffling world of quantum physics.
Professor Stewart's account of seventeen extraordinary equations is at once readable, fascinating, funny, and constantly mind-opening.
'Britain's most brilliant and prolific populariser of mathematics' Alex Bellos, Guardian