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        Robert Laffont
        EAN : 9782221217894
        Shaping : BROCHE
        Pages : 272
        Size : 1 x 215 mm
        Novelty
        God, Mathematics, Madness

        Release date : 18/10/2018
        The greatest mathematicians are often quite eccentric. There are several cases in which only pure madness can explain their behavior
        What should we think of Alexandre Grothendiek, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, who one day left his promising career in Paris to go hide away in a village in Ariège, where he lived out the rest of his days without running water or electricity, refusing to... What should we think of Alexandre Grothendiek, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century, who one day left his promising career in Paris to go hide away in a village in Ariège, where he lived out the rest of his days without running water or electricity, refusing to see anyone. How can we comprehend the attitude of Grigori Perlman, who, after solving Poincaré’s conjecture, refused to collect the check for one million dollars promised to whoever achieved the feat? Or that of Paul Erdos, the wandering Hungarian who spent his life traveling with just a small bag, staying at the homes of various colleagues with whom he published articles, making him the most prolific mathematicians in history? And what about John Nash, who saw ghosts, yet was key in developing game theory and won the Nobel Prize of Economics in 1994 and the prestigious Abel Prize of Mathematics in 2015?

        To paraphrase Diderot: Are they crazy? Are they genius?

        The most revealing case is that of Georg Cantor, who created set theory, and who, to his despair, couldn’t keep himself from his obsession with the notion of infinity. He died in a psychiatric hospital for identifying the absolute infinite with God.

        Mystics are what we call those who are driven mad for God and claim to want to gaze the face of God himself, if not become one with him. When mathematicians demonstrate a theorem, they have the feeling gazing upon one of the countless glimmering facets of God’s face. It is understood that madness settles in such exalted environs. But perhaps the ones who are really mad are the ones who can’t pull themselves up to such heights, those who cannot see the miracle, those who aren’t mathematicians…
         
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        EAN : 9782221217894
        Shaping : BROCHE
        Pages : 272
        Size : 1 x 215 mm
        Robert Laffont