A History of Pi is a non-fiction book by Petr Beckmann that presents a layman’s introduction to the concept of the mathematical constant pi (π). Contents . The history of pi, says the author, though a small part of the history of Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times. Documents the calculation, numerical value, and use of the ratio from B.C. to the modern computer age, detailing social conditions in eras when progress.

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A History of π

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. He seems to reject Christianity as unscientific always. Certainly it is a bit dated being published in the early 70s, but that isn’t strictly what I struggled with.

Although a little outdated in the last chapters, the underlying narrative of the book is a brief history of man, beginning in the stone age all the way through the “computer age” at the end of the decade of ‘s, with Pi as protagonist. I’m very interesting on pi and I’m very histiry now. It was written in Beckmann jumps and skips from one era to another giving you the lowdown on a random sampling The fact that it was written in adds a little bit of out-of-date flavor that makes “A History of Pi” a lot more amusing than it otherwise might have been.

An informative and entertaining oi places read.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. He has authored eleven books and more than fifty scientific papers, mostly on probability theory and electromagnetic wave propagation.

His attempt to keep the math simple thus left a lot of leaps. I can hardly wait for March 14 to roll around again. Paperbackpages.


InTorquemada sentenced the Spanish mathematician Valmes to be burned at the stake because Valmes had claimed to have found the solution of the quartic equation. For example take this passage from the chapter Night: I’m enjoying this book; even with Beckmann’s rants. Archived from the original on July 4, Doesn’t pull punches politically either! His published works comprise 14 books, including The Beckann of Pi and Einstein Plus Beckmsnnand more than fifty scientific papers, mostly on probability theory and electromagnetic wave propagation.

Easily readable for a mathematical book. Oct 05, Chad Bearden rated it liked it Shelves: Jan 22, Casey rated it liked it. Full of interesting anecdotes. However, the upshot to this book is that the author barely escaped from Soviet Russia, and so pete ZERO tolerance for oppression in any of its forms. Petr Beckmann holds up this mirror, giving the background of the times when pi made progress — and also when it did not, because science was being stifled by militarism or religious fanaticism.

Apr 19, Junaid Selahadin rated it it was amazing. But even there, its far too anecdotal to serve as any real history lesson. However, when the first few examples he gives of how the ancients found their befkmann for pi are rendered into oh-so-simple differential calc In the first few pages, the author describes this book as being hustory on the math.

A History of [pi] (pi) – Petr Beckmann – Google Books

Return to Book Page. The answer, as it turns out, would not be off by a millionth of a millimeter, making calculation of thousands of digits a bit of a circular process. The logical sequence of mathematical proofs as interwoven with the text is surely the strong point of the work.

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Beckmann comes down very hard on the Romans, who he equates with Nazi Germany ouch and relates some interesting stories about Archimedes, Newton, and other mathematicians whom I in my mathematical ignorance had never heard of. We have failed so far. But it didn’t quite live up to the mysterious awe inspired by the Preston artical that led me to pick it up in the first place.

Secondly, Beckmann does absolutely nothing to make pi seem like the awesomly inpenetratable number that it is.

These were periods of religious intolerance towards science, which the author despises and makes no effort w eliminate anti-religion bias. An Interplay of the Continuous and the Petr Beckmann was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in If you can get past his biases, you may enjoy this book.

He does often show his bias against religion – particularly Christianity – p This book has a lot of the history of Pi – I can’t type the symbol. But if you read the endnote for this passage you find: The Romans had similar tastes. The book is okay.

Not only does the author trace pi’s progress, he discusses times when pi off by extension, math, science, and knowledge made scant progress.