When Least Is Best : How Mathematicians Discovered Many Clever Ways to Make Things as Small (or as Large) as Possible
by Paul J. Nahin


Overview -

What is the best way to photograph a speeding bullet? Why does light move through glass in the least amount of time possible? How can lost hikers find their way out of a forest? What will rainbows look like in the future? Why do soap bubbles have a shape that gives them the least area?  Read more...


 
eBook

Retail Price: $24.95
$18.11

(Save 27%)

Download

Language: English

This item is only available to U.S. and Canada billing addresses.

 
 
Paperback - Revised Ed.
  • $24.95
  • 20% off for Members: Get the Club Price
    $ 19.96

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock.

This item is Non-Returnable.
FREE Shipping for Club Members
Not a member? Join Today!

 
 
 
 

More About When Least Is Best by Paul J. Nahin
 
 
 
Overview

What is the best way to photograph a speeding bullet? Why does light move through glass in the least amount of time possible? How can lost hikers find their way out of a forest? What will rainbows look like in the future? Why do soap bubbles have a shape that gives them the least area?

By combining the mathematical history of extrema with contemporary examples, Paul J. Nahin answers these intriguing questions and more in this engaging and witty volume. He shows how life often works at the extremes—with values becoming as small (or as large) as possible—and how mathematicians over the centuries have struggled to calculate these problems of minima and maxima. From medieval writings to the development of modern calculus to the current field of optimization, Nahin tells the story of Dido's problem, Fermat and Descartes, Torricelli, Bishop Berkeley, Goldschmidt, and more. Along the way, he explores how to build the shortest bridge possible between two towns, how to shop for garbage bags, how to vary speed during a race, and how to make the perfect basketball shot.

Written in a conversational tone and requiring only an early undergraduate level of mathematical knowledge, When Least Is Best is full of fascinating examples and ready-to-try-at-home experiments. This is the first book on optimization written for a wide audience, and math enthusiasts of all backgrounds will delight in its lively topics.


This item is Non-Returnable.

 
Details
  • ISBN: 9781400841363
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Date: Oct 2011
 
BAM Customer Reviews