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Book Cover
Author Aharoni, Ron, author

Title Mathematics, poetry, and beauty / Ron Aharoni, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Published New Jersey : World Scientific, 2014
Online access available from:
EBSCO eBook Academic Collection    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource
Contents Introduction: magic -- Mathematics and poetry -- Displacement -- Part I: Order. The curious case of the ants on the pole -- Hidden order -- To discover or to invent -- Order and beauty -- Mathematical harmonies -- Why [square root] 2 is not a rational number -- The real numbers -- The miracle of order -- Simple conjectures, complex proofs -- Independent events -- Part II: How mathematicians and poets think. Poetic image, mathematical image -- The power of the oblique -- Compression -- Mathematical ping-pong -- The book in heaven -- Poetical ping-pong -- Laws of conservation -- An idea from somewhere else -- Three types of mathematics -- Topology -- Matchmaking -- Imagination -- A magic number -- Reality or imagination -- Unexpected combinations -- What is mathematics? -- Deep tautologies -- Symmetry -- Impossibility -- Infinitely large -- Cantor's story -- The most beautiful proof? -- Paradoxes and oxymorons -- Self-reference and Gödel's Theorem -- Halfway to infinity: large numbers -- Infinitely small -- Infinitely many numbers having a finite sum -- Twists -- Part III: Two levels of perception. Knowing without knowing -- Content and husk -- Change -- Estrangement -- An endless encounter -- Appendix A: Mathematical fields -- Appendix B: Sets of numbers -- Appendix C: Poetical mechanisms mentioned in the book
Summary What does mathematics have to do with poetry? Seemingly, nothing. Mathematics deals with abstractions while poetry with emotions. And yet, the two share something essential: Beauty. Euclid alone has looked on beauty bare, says the title of a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Mathematics, Poetry and Beauty tries to solve the secret of the similarity between the two domains. It tries to explain how a mathematical argument and a poem can move us in the same way. Mathematical and poetic techniques are compared, with the aim of showing how they evoke the same sense of beauty.The reader may find that, as Bertrand Russell said, Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty hold and austere, like that of sculpture...sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show
Notes Print version record
Subject Mathematics -- Study and teaching.
Poetry in mathematics education.
Genre/Form Puzzles and games.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9789814602952 (electronic bk)
9814602957 (electronic bk)
Other Titles Matemaṭiḳah, shirah ṿe-yofi. English