Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics

Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics

In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two year old mathematician, made a hypothesis while presenting a paper to the Berlin Academy titled ?On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity.? Today, after 150 years of careful research and exhaustive study, the Riemann Hypothesis remains unsolved, with a one-million-dollar prize earmarked for the first per In 1859, Bernhard Riemann, a little-known thirty-two year old mathematician, made a hypothesis while presenting a p...

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Title:Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics
Author:John Derbyshire
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Genres:Science
ISBN:Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:422 pages pages

Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics Reviews

  • trivialchemy
    Mar 11, 2009
    This comparison will probably strike most as directly from left field, but Derbyshire reminds me a lot of Jon Krakauer. Topically, of course, they have nothing in common. But their style both depends heavily on the conspicuousness of the author in the narrative. This isn't necessarily ...
  • Elio
    Jul 09, 2007
    Although I find this author's political views repellent, I really enjoyed this book. He takes an extremely esoteric mathematical puzzle and shows how it emerges organically starting from the simple math we learned in high school. He also provides several excellent character sketches of...
  • Craig
    Oct 23, 2007
    Try it. I dare you. (I bet you'll find it more interesting than you thought.) ...
  • Andrij Zip
    Dec 17, 2012
    Prime Obsession is an engrossing and mind stretching journey to the heart of one of the most enduring and profound mysteries in mathematics - the Riemann Hypothesis: All non-trivial zeros of the zeta function have real part one-half. By the time you finish the book, that enigmati...
  • Brannon
    Jan 19, 2008
    This is a great book to get people interested in the prime number problems the last few thousand years. The first half of the book is very easy to read, and fun. The second half has more difficult mathematics in it. ...
  • Manny
    Nov 20, 2008
    The best popular mathematics book I can recall reading. I had heard about the Riemann Hypothesis a zillion times and never understood what the fuss was about. After going through this book, it all made sense! Requires college-level math, but if you have that, can't recommend too highly...
  • Jason
    Oct 08, 2009
    You remember the smartest kid in your high school calculus class? Remember the math major in your college dorm, the one doing advanced physics with more Greek symbols than Roman numerals? Both brainiacs at the time, right? Well, the book Prime Obsession deals with mathematical concepts...
  • Don
    Jul 02, 2009
    This book alternates chapters -- biographical information interleaved with mathematical explanations. The biographical was fascinating; the mathematics I followed for about six chapters, then fell away exhausted. Overall, a very good read for those interested in such stuff. ...
  • Xavier Shay
    Apr 21, 2015
    I'm such a math wannabe. Does a great job of breaking down a complicated hypothesis. Contained slightly too much people-history for my taste, but overall very good. ...
  • Shayne
    Jul 30, 2017
    Really raises the bar for pop-math books. My only complaint is that the educational level of the intended reader is somewhat bizarre. On the one hand, only the very minimum amount of calculus is provided to keep the concepts approachable. On the other hand, towards the end of the book ...
  • Dan Cohen
    Jul 24, 2013
    This is a really good book. It attempts to explain the Riemann Hypothesis ("RH") to anyone with only "high school" mathematical knowledge, or maybe a little bit more. It also contains a lot of historical material on the mathematicians involved and makes many delightful observations and...
  • Kevin Morgan
    May 24, 2012
    I really enjoyed this book, but you have to take your time and work the math (which starts at really easy stuff, and is very carefully explained). You'll never look at prime number, or mathematics for that matter, in the same way again. -kevin aka FitOldDog ...
  • Scott Morrison
    Jul 11, 2013
    WOuld have got 5, although I found the history chapters less interesting than the maths chapters. Definitely requires undergrad/advanced A level maths to follow but I really enjoyed it. ...
  • Raghu
    Jan 08, 2017
    Stoic and engaging attempt (with lots of history and sociology) to take one all the way through (almost from first principles) to understanding the near-mythical Riemann Hypothesis (RH). The most revelatory aspect of this exercise, to me, was the fact that even as a practicing "applied...
  • Katia N
    Jan 22, 2013
    Wonderful book for those who are interested in the subject and the modern math in general. The author has made his task very challengeable - to explain high level abstract math to a layman almost without even using calculus. And i have to say he succeeded! On the top of knowing the sub...
  • Greg Fanoe
    Jul 19, 2018
    I think this is the best pop science book I've ever read. For me, having been a math major in college but not studied or dealt with any high level math in probably around 15 years, it was pitched at a pretty good level. Most importantly, you can tell this was actually written by a prof...
  • Sanjay Gautam
    Dec 29, 2014
    I read the book somewhere, i don't remember on whose laptop, but I was more than halfway through and the book made me feel really great. Its a very well written book. You need not to know much mathematics to start reading it, he teaches you along the way. And then he takes you from his...
  • Navakanth
    May 31, 2013
    Great book with a historical perspective about the famous Hilbert's problem. A quick, enjoyable read to absorb the beauty of Number theory. ...
  • Ollie Ford
    Nov 25, 2012
    Really nice mix of mathematical content and the historical story. Seemed somewhat as though an editor favouring a lower page count rushed a dump of all remaining explanation in the last couple of chapters - dramatic increase in pace. Toward the end there are some odd mixes of assume...
  • Jonathan Chuang
    Jun 05, 2014
    First of all, this is pretty well-researched, being a 150 year-long history and all. Also, while quite thorough about the math, it wasn't really that involved. Of course, like all attempts to give a popular account of complicated math, it tread too heavily while not penetrating deep en...
  • BlackOxford
    Jul 05, 2019
    Gift or Neurosis? Obsession is something with irresistible psychic power. I take Derbyshire?s use of the term literally. Explaining this power is like explaining any other mental abnormality. From the outside, obsession appears irrational. From the inside its logic is compelling a...
  • Ami Iida
    Jan 16, 2018
    It's the Riemann hypothesis and the process of it. It can't be solved yet 30 January 2018. But the process of it is used various new mathematical method, they're exciting. ...
  • Cameron Johnson
    Jul 02, 2019
    Fascinating topic, difficult subject. Will need to re-read! ...
  • Abhishek Dalmia
    Aug 17, 2015
    A very good explanation of everything related to the Riemann Hypothesis for somebody not exposed to the rigorous maths of advanced level but enough to understand basic Calculus. The best thing about this book is that anybody with high school maths can just dive right in and follow the ...
  • Tyler
    Jun 08, 2019
    The author, John Derbyshire, has a wonderful achievement in this book. It is extremely impressive how much he was able to explain for a lay audience about the Riemann Hypothesis. While it is not comprehensive, any close reading of this book will leave the reader with a elementary under...
  • David Tate
    Jan 21, 2016
    This may be my favorite nonfiction mathematics book. The author alternates between biographical information on the main players in the history of the Riemann Hypothesis, and mathematical development of the background necessary to understand the hypothesis and its importance to modern m...
  • Bert Temminck
    Dec 08, 2015
    I know that in I never will fully understand the Riemann Hypothesis, not enough math cells in my brain, but this book have let me get a glimpse of the beauty of the zeta function. ...
  • Dr.J.G.
    Feb 05, 2016
    The book and the style of writing are maddening, especially coming from a professional in the field - as often as not one wishes one could do more than raise eyebrows in a civilised manner and simply bop the fellow one on head, hard. It is bad enough he downplays or speaks degradingly ...
  • Steve Kimmins
    Aug 17, 2018
    If you are interested in mathematics in general, enjoy recreational mathematics or have even a curiosity and affinity for numbers then I think you?ll enjoy this book. It?s ?popular?, in that it?s aimed at non specialists but there are minimum requirements for you to make the ...
  • Kelly Novak
    Aug 18, 2017
    As someone interested in (and fascinated with) the Riemann zeta function and the Riemann Hypothesis, I read a lot of books on the matter. Many are far too full of dense equations and seem geared to those with a math Ph.D. This one, however, can be understood by an undergraduate with a ...