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## Details

Genre/Form: | History |
---|---|

Document Type: | Book |

All Authors / Contributors: |
Robin J Wilson |

ISBN: | 9780691158228 0691158223 |

OCLC Number: | 847985591 |

Notes: | Originally published : London : Allen Lane, 2002, under title Four colours suffice. |

Description: | xii, 199 pages : some color illustrations, maps ; 24 cm. |

Contents: | Preface to the revised color edition -- Preface to the original edition -- The four-colour problem -- The problem is posed -- Euler's famous formula -- Cayley revives the problem ... -- ... and Kempe solves it -- A chapter of accidents -- A bombshell from Durham -- Crossing the Atlantic -- A new dawn breaks -- Success! -- Is it a proof? -- Chronology of events -- Glossary. |

Series Title: | Princeton science library; Princeton science library. |

Other Titles: | Four colours suffice |

Responsibility: | Robin Wilson ; with a new foreword by Ian Stewart. |

### Abstract:

## Reviews

*Editorial reviews*

Publisher Synopsis

"The simplicity of the four-color conjecture is deceptive. Just how deceptive is made clear by Robin Wilson's delightful history of the quest to resolve it... Four Colors Suffice is strewn with good anecdotes, and the author ... proves himself skillful at making the mathematics accessible."--Jim Holt, New York Review of Books "Wilson's lucid history weaves together lively anecdotes, biographical sketches, and a non-technical account of the mathematics."--Science "Earlier books ... relate some of the relevant history in their introductions, but they are primarily technical. In contrast, Four Colors Suffice is a blend of history anecdotes and mathematics. Mathematical arguments are presented in a clear, colloquial style, which flows gracefully."--Daniel S. Silver, American Scientist "Robin Wilson appeals to the mathematical novice with an unassuming lucidity. It's thrilling to see great mathematicians fall for seductively simple proofs, then stumble on equally simple counter-examples. Or swallow their pride."--Jascha Hoffman, The Boston Globe "A thoroughly accessible history of attempts to prove the four-color theorem. Wilson defines the problem and explains some of the methods used by those trying to solve it. His descriptions of the contributions made by dozens of dedicated, and often eccentric, mathematicians give a fascinating insight into how mathematics moves forward, and how approaches have changed over the past 50 years... It's comforting to know that however indispensable computers become, there will always be a place for the delightfully eccentric mathematical mind. Let's hope that Robin Wilson continues to write about them."--Elizabeth Sourbut, New Scientist "An attractive and well-written account of the solution of the Four Color Problem... It tells in simple terms an exciting story. It ... give[s] the reader a view into the world of mathematicians, their ideas and methods, discussions, competitions, and ways of collaboration. As such it is warmly recommended."--Bjarne Toft, Notices of the American Mathematical Society "Recreational mathematicians will find Wilson's history of the conjecture an approachable mix of its technical and human aspects... Wilson explains all with exemplary clarity and an accent on the eccentricities of the characters."--Booklist "Wilson gives a clear account of the proof ... enlivened by historical tales."--Alastair Rae, Physics World "Wilson provides a lively narrative and good, easy-to-read arguments showing not only some of the victories but the defeats as well... Even those with only a mild interest in coloring problems or graphs or topology will have fun reading this book... [It is] entertaining, erudite and loaded with anecdotes."--G.L. Alexanderson, MAA Online Read more...

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