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It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of…

It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science

by Graham Farmelo

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This is a 'math appreciation' book for non-mathematicians. Good equations are beautiful (though not all beautiful equations are good). Each chapter is written by an eminent author about an equation that is particularly beautiful in its own right, as well as being the bedrock of that particular field of study.
  ewrinc | Nov 23, 2007 |
Really good chapters on the central equations of the quantization of light (Planck-Einstein), special relativity (Einstein), general relativity (Einstein), quantum mechanics (Schrödinger), quantum field theory (Dirac), information theory (Shannon), unification of forces (Yang-Mills), search for extraterrestrial intelligence (Drake), biology (Kimura), chaos theory (logistic map), chemistry of ozone breakdown (Molina-Rowland).
  fpagan | Dec 22, 2006 |
This seems like a good idea, a book of essays on various important equations in science, but as I've now grown to expect, the execution is ruined through the authors being terrified of actually using any math in their essays.

Really the only useful thing to come out of it was some throwaway lines by Frank Wilczek on why the hole interpretation of the Dirac equation is untenable.
(His two important points are,
first, that fields that are not described by the Dirac equation [he does not explicitly say bosons, but I am sure that's what he meant] also have anti-particles, and
second, and this point I had missed in my own musings on the subject, non-QED interactions, like neutron decay, can create a single electron or positron, as opposed to an electron-hole pair.)
But even he doesn't give a useful description of particles vs anti-particles in terms of how the complex phase rotates with time. ( )
  name99 | Nov 14, 2006 |
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A series of essays on the most famous equations of modern science by experts in their fields.

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