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The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe
by Donal O'Shea
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080271532X, Hardcover)
Henri Poincaré was one of the greatest mathematicians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He revolutionized the field of topology, which studies properties of geometric configurations that are unchanged by stretching or twisting. The Poincaré conjecture lies at the heart of modern geometry and topology, and even pertains to the possible shape of the universe. The conjecture states that there is only one shape possible for a finite universe in which every loop can be contracted to a single point.
Poincaré's conjecture is one of the seven "millennium problems" that bring a one-million-dollar award for a solution. Grigory Perelman, a Russian mathematician, has offered a proof that is likely to win the Fields Medal, the mathematical equivalent of a Nobel prize, in August 2006. He also will almost certainly share a Clay Institute millennium award.
In telling the vibrant story of The Poincaré Conjecture, Donal O'Shea makes accessible to general readers for the first time the meaning of the conjecture, and brings alive the field of mathematics and the achievements of generations of mathematicians whose work have led to Perelman's proof of this famous conjecture.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:05 -0400)
Conceived in 1904, the Poincaré conjecture, a puzzle that speaks to the possible shape of the universe and lies at the heart of modern topology and geometry, has resisted attempts by generations of mathematicians to prove or to disprove it. Despite a million-dollar prize for a solution, Russian mathematician Grigory Perelman, posted his solution on the Internet instead of publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal. This book "tells the story of the fascinating personalities, institutions, and scholarship behind the centuries of mathematics that have led to Perelman's dramatic proof." The author also chronicles dramatic events at the 2006 International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid, where Perelman was awarded a Fields Medal for his solution, which he declined.
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