Toward the end of the 19th century, one of the most brilliant mathematicians in history languished in an asylum. His greatest accomplishment, the result of a series of extraordinary leaps of insight, was his pioneering understanding of the nature of infinity.
From the acclaimed author of God's Equation comes The Mystery of the Aleph, the story of Georg Cantor: how he came to his theories and the reverberations of his pioneering work, the consequences of which will shape our world for the foreseeable future. The mindtwisting, deeply philosophical work of Cantor has its roots in ancient Greek mathematics and Jewish numerology as found in the mystical work known as the Kabbalah. Cantor's theory of the infinite is famous for its many seeming contradictions; for example, we can prove that in all time there are as many years as days, that there are as many points on a one-inch line as on a one-mile line.
While the inspiration for Cantor's mind-twisting genius lies in the very origins of mathematics, its meaning is still being interpreted. Only in 1947 did Kurt Gvdel prove that Cantor's Continuum Hypothesis is independent of the rest of mathematics - and that the foundations of mathematics itself are therefore shaky.
©2001 by Amir D. Aczel; (P)2001 Random House, Inc.
"Mr. Aczel is very good at portraying the essences of the thoughts and lives of that quirky class of geniuses known as mathematicians." (New York Times Book Review)
very rewarding. I found myself wanting to bounce at people and go 'do you realise that the set of numbers between 0 and 1 is infinite and so is the set of numbers between 0 and 2 and that therefore they are the same size?!' Unfortunately, the mathematicians I know go, 'well, yess. Obviously. What's your point?' and everyone else looks at me as if I've gone mad...
I approached an audible book on a mathematical topic with some trepidation as I am quite a visual person and would miss any equations, graphs, diagrams etc. The nature of this book was an exploration of the infinite from earliest times through to the work of the 20th century, with a particular focus on Cantor. The experience of an audible book was good. The book was split into sections that made for easier places to stop and pick up at a later date. The content was good, but I did miss any diagrams - which at times would have made the experience even better.
As an English speaker, the American accept was a little grating at times, but I kept my listening sessions to roughly 60 minutes per session.
The content was good, and it was good to generally stick with a chronological narrative. The audio quality was very good, and suited to the spekaer's voice.
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