A magisterial history of calculus (and the people behind it) from one of the world's foremost popularisers of mathematics, the author of The Joy of X.
This is the captivating story of mathematics' greatest ever idea: calculus. Without it, there would be no computers, no microwave ovens, no GPS, and no space travel. But before it gave modern man almost infinite powers, calculus was behind centuries of controversy, competition, and even death.
Taking us on a thrilling journey through three millennia, professor Steven Strogatz charts the development of this seminal achievement from the days of Aristotle to today's million-dollar reward that awaits whoever cracks Reimann's hypothesis. Filled with idiosyncratic characters from Pythagoras to Euler, Infinite Powers is a compelling human drama that reveals the legacy of calculus on nearly every aspect of modern civilisation, including science, politics, ethics, philosophy, and much besides.
About the Author
Steven Strogatz is the professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University. A renowned teacher and one of the world's most highly cited mathematicians, he is the author of the bestselling The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Mathematics, from One to Infinity.
"In this engaging book, Steven Strogatz illuminates the importance of calculus and explains its mysteries as only he can."
Sean Carroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe
"An incalculable pleasure. If calculus is the language of the universe, then Steven Strogatz is its Homer."
Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness
"A highly readable account of calculus and its modern applications - all done with the human touch."
Dr David Acheson, Emeritus Fellow, Oxford University
"A tour de force. Elegant and ebullient. Strogatz speaks to everyone, reminding us why mathematics matters in a practical sense while all the time highlighting its beauty."
Lisa Randall, Professor of Physics at Harvard University