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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any maths enthusiast.
I had heard that this book was coming out and, having read the books by Maor and Nahin, was looking forward to the next 'constant' treatise from PUP; it' s great that the author is English this time! Well done PUP for letting the Brits in (I see that they now have an office in England). The book is (for me) the best yet of the series (if that is what it is) and having...
Published on 17 April 2003 by Andy Richardson

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1 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gamma - a constant nightmare!
For someone with a limited background in pure maths, but still eager to learn and full of enthusiasm and excitement(especially after the previous 4 reviews?? - and not forgetting the "Forward"!), this book left me cold.

- Please, teacher, do not blame the pupil and thank God my formative years managed to avoid Winchester and all who sail in her.

Best...
Published on 25 Aug 2010 by reiveresk/Cambridge


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any maths enthusiast., 17 April 2003
I had heard that this book was coming out and, having read the books by Maor and Nahin, was looking forward to the next 'constant' treatise from PUP; it' s great that the author is English this time! Well done PUP for letting the Brits in (I see that they now have an office in England). The book is (for me) the best yet of the series (if that is what it is) and having read it I can see why Gamma was the topic to be chosen (pi has of course been done several times and so has the Golden Ratio). Havil is a new author and an extremely good one-and he knows his maths. I am just an amateur enthusiast and as such I have learned so much maths from his exposition. The Harmonic Series stuff leading to the Zeta functions was some of the best for me and opened my eyes to the Prime Number Theorem and the Riemann Hypothesis; why has no-one else explained them so clearly and interestingly-and without avoiding the maths? As the author says, some parts need work to understand but it's very rewarding to get to grips with the ideas and particularly with the historical perspective that is woven into the pages. Now I have 3 great books from PUP on mathematical constants on my shelf...I await the fourth..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The addictive delights of prime numbers made more accessible, 13 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Gamma: Exploring Euler's Constant (Princeton Science Library) (Paperback)
Although I say "accessible" , be warned this is a book for someone with say single subject A level maths, and one needs a pen & paper to work through it: the book is not a popularization, but a serious attempt to explain number theory , Gamma, and in the end the Riemann Hypothesis, to a wider audience.

The book successfully answers the question "just what is it about the the complex zeros of the Riemann zeta function that makes them relevant for the distribution of prime numbers and the Prime Number Theorem?"

Hence in some sense this book could be regarded as a follow on to John Derbyshire's book "Prime obsession".
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who would have thought!?, 27 Jun 2003
By 
Palle E T Jorgensen "Palle Jorgensen" (Iowa City, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Who would have thought that there can be so much life in a constant? And one with a Greek name! If you have some math interests, I predict that you will get caught up in the thread of events: They are mathematical topics, but are presented like in a novel or a drama. A book that I couldn't put down. The main characters are the harmonic series, the sub-harmonic series, Riemann's Zeta function, its functional equation, its zeros, the Riemann hypothesis(it is worth a million dollars!), the prime number theorem, (..hard stuff! but it somehow seems easy in this book),Bernoulli numbers, Pell's equation, the distribution of prime numbers.... And if you forgot some of your math, you will have it reviewed in the appendices. They are attractive, well written, and to the point.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who would have thought!?, 12 Aug 2003
By 
Palle E T Jorgensen "Palle Jorgensen" (Iowa City, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Who would have thought that there can be so much life in a constant? And one with a Greek name! If you have some math interests, I predict that you will get caught up in the thread of events: They are mathematical topics, but are presented like in a novel or a drama. A book that I couldn't put down. The main characters are the harmonic series, the sub-harmonic series, Riemann's Zeta function, its functional equation, its zeros, the Riemann hypothesis(it is worth a million dollars!), the prime number theorem, (..hard stuff! but it somehow seems easy in this book),Bernoulli numbers, Pell's equation, the distribution of prime numbers.... And if you forgot some of your math, you will have it reviewed in the appendices. They are attractive, well written, and to the point.
Reviewer: Palle E. T. Jorgensen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misleading attribution, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Gamma: Exploring Euler's Constant (Princeton Science Library) (Paperback)
Freeman Dyson is not a co-author, he merely wrote the foreword.
I think the attribution on Amazon's website is therefore misleading.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is by Julian Havil, not Freeman Dyson!, 4 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Gamma: Exploring Euler's Constant (Princeton Science Library) (Paperback)
This books walks the line dividing serious academic mathematics and popular entertainment without either side being conscious that that is being done. A scholarly, entertaining and easily digested tour through some intriquing and mysterious basic mathematics, I find this quite the best of the plethora of popular mathematics books to appear in recent years. Havil tells you things you know, and then things you don't, with an effortless expertise. It's a pity that one sees repeatedly that this fine book is by Freeman Dyson - he contributed an introduction but this original and profound piece of work is entirely by Julian Havil - I feel like Draco Malfoy surveying his henchmen in Harry Potter because when I was at college with him, I did not realise he could write! Well, he can, and extremely well. The book is cheap, and gives you a real feel for what mathematics is and what it can be.
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1 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gamma - a constant nightmare!, 25 Aug 2010
For someone with a limited background in pure maths, but still eager to learn and full of enthusiasm and excitement(especially after the previous 4 reviews?? - and not forgetting the "Forward"!), this book left me cold.

- Please, teacher, do not blame the pupil and thank God my formative years managed to avoid Winchester and all who sail in her.

Best wishes to all!
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Gamma: Exploring Euler's Constant (Princeton Science Library)
Gamma: Exploring Euler's Constant (Princeton Science Library) by Julian Havil (Paperback - 26 July 2009)
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