Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe Review

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Marvelous . . . an array of witty and astonishing stories . . . to illuminate how calculus has helped bring into being our contemporary world.”—The Washington Post

From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a brilliant and endlessly appealing explanation of calculus – how it works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better. 
 
Without calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket. 
 
Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down‑to‑earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number—infinity—to tackle real‑world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous. 
 
Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves (a phenomenon predicted by calculus). Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes “backwards” sometimes; how to make electricity with magnets; how to ensure your rocket doesn’t miss the moon; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS. 
 
As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew. 

Title:Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe

    Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe Reviews

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    I feel bad for kids who do ordinary arithmetic in grade school. For me, the math doesn't get interesting until you get above the Calculus line. Calculus with its dealings with the continuum is the fir...

  • Ryan Boissonneault

    Calculus is one of those subjects that is so complicated that most people not only don’t understand it, they don’t even know what it is that they don’t understand. But that’s unfortunate, beca...

  • Eric

    TL;DR In Infinite Powers,Dr. Steven H. Strogatz teaches us how to use our microwaves to calculate the speed of light. I’m not kidding. That’s all the recommendation this book needs. Highly Recomm...

  • Athan Tolis

    I need to psyche myself up to do some math for work. And I have a math sherpa and I arranged to meet him so he can take me through the paper I must tackle. But I’m old and only really remember my hi...

  • Rama

    This book does not make calculus interesting Calculus is widely perceived as important part of science in understanding basic laws of physics. But it also has important applications in advanced physic...

  • Roberto Rigolin F Lopes

    A few centuries ago some clever people noticed that nature is in an ever-changing state, notably Galileo (1564-1642) studying objects in free fall and Kepler (1571-1630) studying the motion of planets...

  • Jason Furman

    A fantastic book about calculus. A blend of the history of the development of calculus, its applications, and intuitive explanations of its power filled with nicely intuitive explanations that will ei...

  • David Schwartz

    Well written and entertaining look at the development of calculus - surely one of mankind's most impressive intellectual achievements - and how it comes into play in all sorts of important problem sol...

  • Melissa Dee

    Just to set the stage, I’m a math geek, and I do speak calculus, if somewhat imperfectly. I was thrilled by this book. Strogatz explores “the calculus” from its beginnings to the outer reaches o...

  • linhtalinhtinh

    I certainly wish I had read this book while in high school or college. We grilled all the basic technical parts of calculus and yet unsure what was the point. Well certainly you don't need to know it ...