When Least Is Best How Mathematicians Discovered Many Clever Ways to Make Things as Small (or as Large) as Possible

ISBN-10: 0691130523
ISBN-13: 9780691130521
Edition: 2004 (Revised)
Authors: Paul J. Nahin
List price: $24.95 Buy it from $9.09
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Description: By combining the mathematical history of extrema with contemporary examples, Paul J. Nahin answers some intriguing questions such as: what is the best way to photograph a speeding bullet?; And why does light move through glass in the least possible  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/22/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.660
Language: English

By combining the mathematical history of extrema with contemporary examples, Paul J. Nahin answers some intriguing questions such as: what is the best way to photograph a speeding bullet?; And why does light move through glass in the least possible amount of time?

Paul J. Nahin is the author of many best-selling popular math books, including "Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt", "Digital Dice", "Chases and Escapes", "Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula", "When Least Is Best", and "An Imaginary Tale" (all Princeton). He is professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of New Hampshire.

Preface
Minimums, Maximums, Derivatives, and Computers
Introduction
When Derivatives Don't Work
Using Algebra to Find Minimums
A Civil Engineering Problem
The AM-GM Inequality
Derivatives from Physics
Minimizing with a Computer
The First Extremal Problems
The Ancient Confusion of Length and Area
Dido' Problem and the Isoperimetric Quotient
Steiner '""Solution"" to Dido' Problem
How Steiner Stumbled
A ""Hard ""Problem wi

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