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Gamma : exploring Euler's constant

Author: Julian Havil; Freeman J Dyson
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2018]
Series: Princeton science library.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : New Princeton Science Library paperbackView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Among the many constants that appear in mathematics, [pi], e, and i are the most familiar. Following closely behind is [gamma] or gamma, a constant that arises in many mathematical areas yet remains profoundly mysterious. Introduced by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), who figures prominently in this book, gamma is defined as the limit of the sum of 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + ... up to 1/n , minus the  Read more...
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Named Person: Leonhard Euler; Leonhard Euler
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Julian Havil; Freeman J Dyson
ISBN: 0691178100 9780691178103 9781400832538 1400832535
OCLC Number: 1023588491
Description: xxiii, 266 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: The logarithmic cradle --
The harmonic series --
Sub-harmonic series --
Zeta functions --
Gamma's birthplace --
The Gamma function --
Euler's wonderful identity --
A promise fulfilled --
What is gamma... exactly ? --
Gamma as a decimal --
Gamma as a fraction --
Where is Gamma ? --
It's a harmonic world --
It's a logarithmic world --
Problems with primes --
The Riemann initiative.
Series Title: Princeton science library.
Responsibility: Julian Havil ; with a foreword by Freeman Dyson.

Abstract:

"Among the many constants that appear in mathematics, [pi], e, and i are the most familiar. Following closely behind is [gamma] or gamma, a constant that arises in many mathematical areas yet remains profoundly mysterious. Introduced by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), who figures prominently in this book, gamma is defined as the limit of the sum of 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + ... up to 1/n , minus the natural logarithm of n -- and the numerical value is 0.5772156 ... But unlike its more celebrated colleagues [pi] and e, the exact nature of gamma remains a mystery. In fact, we don't even know if gamma is a fraction. In this tantalizing blend of history and mathematics, Julian Havil takes readers on a journey through logarithms and the harmonic series, the two defining elements of gamma, toward the first account of gamma's place in mathematics. Sure to be popular with not only students and instructors but all math aficionados, Gamma takes us through countries, centuries, lives, and works, unfolding along the way the stories of some remarkable mathematics from some remarkable mathematicians"--

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"[A] wonderful book... Havil's emphasis on historical context and his conversational style make this a pleasure to read... Gamma is a gold mine of irresistible mathematical nuggets. Anyone with a Read more...

 
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