Two Millennia of Mathematics

From Archimedes to Gauss

  • George M. Phillips

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. G. H. Hardy
    Pages 1-44
  3. Thomas Robert Malthus
    Pages 45-80
  4. Isaac Newton
    Pages 81-120
  5. Piet Hein
    Pages 121-164
  6. C. F. Gauss
    Pages 165-214
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 215-223

About this book


This book is intended for those who love mathematics, including under­ graduate students of mathematics, more experienced students, and the vast number of amateurs, in the literal sense of those who do something for the love of it. I hope it will also be a useful source of material for those who teach mathematics. It is a collection of loosely connected topics in areas of mathematics that particularly interest me, ranging over the two millennia from the work of Archimedes, who died in the year 212 Be, to the Werke of Gauss, who was born in 1777, although there are some references outside this period. In view of its title, I must emphasize that this book is certainly not pretending to be a comprehensive history of the mathematics of this period, or even a complete account of the topics discussed. However, every chapter is written with the history of its topic in mind. It is fascinating, for example, to follow how both Napier and Briggs constructed their log­ arithms before many of the most relevant mathematical ideas had been discovered. Do I really mean "discovered"? There is an old question, "Is mathematics created or discovered?" Sometimes it seems a shame not to use the word "create" in praise of the first mathematician to write down some outstanding result. Yet the inner harmony that sings out from the best of mathematics seems to demand the word "discover.


Finite John Napier algebra equation function logarithms mathematics

Authors and affiliations

  • George M. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematical InstituteUniversity of St. AndrewsScotland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2000
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-7035-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-1180-8
  • Series Print ISSN 1613-5237
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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