“Zero and infinity are eternally locked in a struggle to engulf all the numbers. Like a Manichaean nightmare, the two sit on opposite poles of the number sphere, sucking numbers in like tiny black holes.” [p. 145]
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
What made me fall in love with math was actually not by doing math but reading a book! While in University I went to a book fair for soon to be teachers and while I was there I was introduced to a book called “Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea ” I read the first page and I was hooked. It was the most fascinating book I had ever read. There and then I fell in love with math. From that point on I knew that literature could ‘convert’ reluctant math students in to devote math fanatics, like me. Now I strongly promote literature in the math class room along with math games (of course) 🙂
Head over to amazon and read the 160+ reviews of this book, I highly recommend it (for parents and teachers to read or high school students)!!
One Reviewer Said:
By Chris Johnson
It may well be the most potent force in the universe. The Greeks were scared to death of it. Aristotle wouldn’t permit it(and the Catholic Church’s vice-grip on Aristotelianism held Western science and mathematics back for centuries). But this force does not discriminate; it delights in tripping up secular science as well. Certain forms of mathematics must ignore it in order to work. String theory basically pretends it isn’t there. It is, as stated on the book jacket, “a time bomb ticking in the heart of astrophysics.”
Charles Seife’s history of zero(and of infinity, which is awfully close to the same thing, as Seife elegantly demonstrates)is one of the most interesting and thought-provoking books I have read in a long time. There are mathematical and scientific equations and concepts aplenty here, but they were not daunting for this manifestly un-mathematic non-scientist. Seife has a fascinating story to tell and he tells it with enthusiasm. I cannot recommend Zero too highly.