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Author Corry, Leo, 1956-
Title A brief history of numbers / Leo Corry.
Imprint Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press, 2015.
Edition First edition.

Author Corry, Leo, 1956-
Subject Number theory -- History.
Number systems.
Description 1 online resource (xiii, 309 pages) : illustrations
Edition First edition.
Summary The world around us is saturated with numbers. They are a fundamental pillar of our modern society, and accepted and used with hardly a second thought. But how did this state of affairs come to be? In this book, Leo Corry tells the story behind the idea of number from the early days of the Pythagoreans, up until the turn of the twentieth century. He presents an overview of how numbers were handled and conceived in classical Greek mathematics, in the mathematics of Islam, in European mathematics of the middle ages and the Renaissance, during the scientific revolution, all the way through to the mathematics of the 18th to the early 20th century. Focusing on both foundational debates and practical use numbers, and showing how the story of numbers is intimately linked to that of the idea of equation, this book provides a valuable insight to numbers for undergraduate students, teachers, engineers, professional mathematicians, and anyone with an interest in the history of mathematics.
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-301) and indexes.
Contents The system of numbers : an overview -- Writing numbers : now and back then -- Numbers and magnitudes in the Greek mathematical tradition -- Construction problems and numerical problems in the Greek mathematical tradition -- Numbers in the tradition of medieval Islam: Islamicate science in historical perspective -- Numbers in Europe from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries -- Number and equations in the works of Descartes, Newton and their contemporaries -- New definitions of complex numbers in the early nineteenth century -- "What are numbers and what should they be?" : understanding numbers in the late nineteenth century -- Exact definitions for the natural numbers : Dedekind, Peano and Frege -- Numbers, sets and infinity : a conceptual breakthrough at the turn of the twentieth century -- Epilogue: numbers in historical perspective.
Note Print version record.
ISBN 9780191007064 (electronic bk.)
0191007064 (electronic bk.)
9780198702597 (hardcover)
0198702590 (hardcover)
OCLC # 913513767
Additional Format Print version: Corry, Leo, 1956- Brief history of numbers. First edition. Oxford, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2015 9780198702597 (DLC) 2015930555 (OCoLC)907194512

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