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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An excellent book on Riemann,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
This is a book about Riemann, the world he lived in and the mathematics he did, especially concerning the famous Zeta Function. You will need secondary education mathematics to understand all of this book, but you will be surprised how much more this book explains, based on that. You will really understand Riemanns famous Hypothesis after reading this. The one downside is that sometimes, the writer is not totally clear in the steps he takes in his mathematical thinking, so you will have to invest some thought here and there, but it is very rewarding. Highly recommended.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic achievement,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Hardcover)
Fantastic.
The exposition tends to increase in terms of difficulty as you go through the book. Similarly, more and more difficult material is omitted with varying degrees of 'handwaving', especially near the very end, but for a mathematical ignoramus like me to come away with some feel for the theorem is a real achievement, for which the author should receive full credit. If only he'd taught Alevel maths at my school................................................
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
exciting, easy to follow but loses it at the end,
By Amazon Customer "tariq_rashid" (London, UK)  See all my reviews
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
This is a gripping account, and an admirable attempt to walk ordinary readers towards one of the most beautiful yet ferocious problems of mathematics today.
The author succeeds for most of the book, but loses it for the last few chapters which become a mess and seem rushed. A second edition is called for! Still, one of the best accounts I have read of the RH.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fascinating insight into a major mathematical problem,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
How are prime numbers distributed along the number line? In the 19th century a German mathematician called Riemann came up with a hypothesis about this which has fascinated mathematicians since, and remains still unproven. John Derbyshire has written a very readable account of the background to the hypothesis, and of attempts to prove it, interspersed with historical and biographical material about the mathematicians involved. The style is chatty, and the expositions of the (often intricate) maths are clear. (Those like me who haven't studied maths at university may find it hard to follow all the technical details in the later chapters, but should still comprehend enough to grasp the bigger picture.) It helps that at relevant junctures John Derbyshire often recaps briefly key points he's explained earlier, or directs the reader to a previous explanation.
This is a fascinating book, and a model for how to explain deep maths to ordinary mortals. Besides being a brilliant book on a major mathematical problem, it also gives a feel for the excitement of mathematical discovery and what makes mathematicians tick.
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
great read but does get a lot more difficult towards the end (last few chapters). Interesting nonetheless.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great book on a difficult subject.,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
I enjoy reading around maths and physics and found this book to be one of my favourites. I loved how the chapters alternated between Riemann's life and the maths of the Riemann Hypothesis. This book should be accessible to you as long as you have an understanding of basic Maths, Alevel would be sufficient. I found all the mathematical concepts explained very well and managed to understanding everything until the last few chapters. Also a great insight into the Prime number theorem and its history.
3.0 out of 5 stars
Three Stars,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
I had no idea what his theorem was meant to prove at the end.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fermat or Riehmann?,
By S. S. Allen "Simon" (Bexhill, East Sussex)  See all my reviews
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Kindle Edition)
As a child I chanced on a book that talked about Fermat's Last Theorem. I was only 10 or so and the link to Pythagoras was obvious. I set out to prove Fermat's last theorem by looking for a counter example. Not the best approach but I was only 10. It was a probelm though that was easy to understand and to express. Not so with Riehmann. Even understanding the probelm is hard as your general school maths is no use at all to you. Certainly it will help but the maths here is well out side the general school syllabus. So it was an enormous pleasure to read this gripping book with its mix of history and maths and to be led gently to the goal of understanding the problem. Highly recommended. Once you understand it all that is left is just to prove it. There is even a $1M prize for the person that does. It is a hard problem but the first step to proving it is understanding and even if you have no wish to do so you will enjoy the journey as the story unfolds.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars,
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This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
As good as I expected
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliantly communicated,
By
This review is from: Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics (Paperback)
This is a brilliantly written accessible yet engaging book.
The interleaving of chapters, one for history and story and one for math is a clever device that works very well, its no mean feat to have made such a profound topic so accessible. I am a Math graduate and I got a lot from the book, I also feel it would be fairly accessible to someone with little Math background. I actually didn't take much to number theory when I was studying it, but this book has definitively brought the subject to life for me. 
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Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics by John Derbyshire (Paperback  1 May 2004)
£10.80
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