Doing Mathematics

Doing Mathematics

Written by: Martin H Krieger

  • Publisher: World Scientific
  • Publish Date: 2015-01-15
  • ISBN-10: 9789814571869
  • ebook-doing-mathematics.pdf

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Book Summary

Doing Mathematics discusses some ways mathematicians and mathematical physicists do their work and the subject matters they uncover and fashion. The conventions they adopt, the subject areas they delimit, what they can prove and calculate about the physical world, and the analogies they discover and employ, all depend on the mathematics — what will work out and what won't. The cases studied include the central limit theorem of statistics, the sound of the shape of a drum, the connections between algebra and topology, and the series of rigorous proofs of the stability of matter. The many and varied solutions to the two-dimensional Ising model of ferromagnetism make sense as a whole when they are seen in an analogy developed by Richard Dedekind in the 1880s to algebraicize Riemann's function theory; by Robert Langlands' program in number theory and representation theory; and, by the analogy between one-dimensional quantum mechanics and two-dimensional classical statistical mechanics. In effect, we begin to see "an identity in a manifold presentation of profiles," as the phenomenologists would say. This second edition deepens the particular examples; it describe the practical role of mathematical rigor; it suggests what might be a mathematician's philosophy of mathematics; and, it shows how an "ugly" first proof or derivation embodies essential features, only to be appreciated after many subsequent proofs. Natural scientists and mathematicians trade physical models and abstract objects, remaking them to suit their needs, discovering new roles for them as in the recent case of the Painlevé transcendents, the Tracy-Widom distribution, and Toeplitz determinants. And mathematics has provided the models and analogies, the ordinary language, for describing the everyday world, the structure of cities, or God's infinitude. Contents:IntroductionConvention: How Means and Variances are Entrenched as StatisticsSubject: The Fields of TopologyAppendix: The Two-Dimensional Ising Model of a FerromagnetCalculation: Strategy, Structure, and Tactics in Applying Classical AnalysisAnalogy: A Syzygy Between a Research Program in Mathematics and a Research Program in PhysicsIn Concreto: The City of MathematicsAppendices:The Spontaneous Magnetization of a Two-Dimensional Ising Model (C N Yang)On the Dirac and Schwinger Corrections to the Ground-State Energy of an Atom (C Fefferman and L A Seco)Sur la Forme des Espaces Topologiques et sur les Points Fixes des Représentations (J Leray)Une Lettre à Simone Weil (A Weil) Readership: Mathematicians, physicists, philosophers and historians of science. Keywords:Means and Variances;Topology;SyzygyReviews: Reviews of the First Edition: "The book Doing Mathematics, by Martin Krieger is truly a masterpiece. He has not only explained ways of doing mathematical work to aspiring mathematicians and the intelligent laymen, but has also shown how various pieces of research work are related to each other. Even experts may not have realized such inter-relations. The cases studied include, especially, the stability of matter and the Ising model, two topics of great depth. Such clear explanations cannot be found anywhere else. Furthermore, his style of writing makes the book exceptionally enjoyable to read." T T Wu Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics Professor of Physics, Harvard University, USA "This is the first time I have seen a mathematician deal substantively with the issue of mathematics as culturally based, and he does it superbly and mathematically … Although this book is no easy read, it is well worth the effort, and I am sure it will stimulate and inform, perhaps even surprise, the most sophisticated of mathematical readers. It is refreshing to find such a book being published." Mathematical Reviews "Both challenging and provocative reading, Doing Mathematics sheds bright light on some of the main characteristics of the mathematical quest." Library of Science "Krieger has made some effort to accommodate different levels of readers; for example, structuring his text so that lay readers are alerted to sections that can be safely skipped and paragraphs that provide nontechnical summaries." Mathematical Association of America

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