100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know

100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know

John D. Barrow

Language: English

Pages: 157

ISBN: 0393338673

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

'If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.' -- John von Neumann

Mathematics can tell you things about the world that can't be learned in any other way. This hugely informative and wonderfully entertaining little book answers one hundred essential questions about existence. It unravels the knotty, clarifies the conundrums and sheds light into dark corners. From winning the lottery, placing bets at the races and escaping from bears to sports, Shakepeare, Google, game theory, drunks, divorce settlements and dodgy accounting; from chaos to infinity and everything in between, 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know has all the answers!














two options. You can stick with your choice of Box A and this will ensure you will win if your original choice was right. Or you can switch boxes, to B, in which case you will be a winner only if your original choice was wrong. Your first choice of Box A will be right 1/3 of the time and wrong 2/3 of the time. So changing your box will get the cheque 2/3 of the time while staying with your first choice will be a winning strategy only 1/3 of the time. You should by now be convinced by this

gallery like that, with 8 walls, which can also be guarded by just one attendant located at the corner O. So, this is a rather economical gallery to run. Here is another ‘kinkier’ 12-walled gallery that is not so efficient. It needs 4 guards to keep an eye on all the walls. To solve the problem in general we just look at how we can divide the gallery up into triangles that don’t overlap. This can always be done. If the polygon has S vertices, then there will be S-2 triangles. Since a triangle

(it stays the same) and 2 is the factor by which the price of beef changes (it doubles). This 1.5 inflation factor, an increase of 50 per cent, will be the headline statistic. But for a non-meat-eating family that eats no beef it will be meaningless. If they were only eating fish they will have seen no change in their weekly bill at all. The inflation factor is also an average over all possible family eating choices. It is based on an assumption about human psychology. It assumes that the family

area equal to one-eighth. Keep on going like this, making a rectangle of half the area of the previous one, and look at the picture. The original square has just had its whole area subdivided into a never-ending sequence of regions that fill it completely. The total area of the square is equal to the sum of the areas of the pieces that I have left intact at each stage of the cutting process, and the areas of these pieces is just equal to our series S. So the sum of the series S must be equal to

(of which only 7 were made and 6 are accounted for) then be sure to let me know. 13 Tally Ho It is a profoundly erroneous truism…that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Alfred North Whitehead The hopeless prisoner is incarcerated in a dark, dank, forgotten cell. The days, months and years are passing slowly.

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