 Author:
 Isaac Asimov (author)
 Language:
 English
 Publisher:
 Pocket Books
 Categories:
 Mathematics and science
 Publication year:
 1978
 ISBN:
 0671821342
 Pages:
 275
 Synopsis:
This is a collection of essays by Asimov on numbers and mathematics. It discusses how we got the concept of zero (from India via the Arabs), exponents, factorials, aleph numbers (there are actually different kinds of infinities), pi, imaginary numbers, huge numbers (like googol, but that doesn't even scratch the surface), the metric system (yum), and a host of other stuff. It also has an essay on animals and their sizes.
 Review:
As with most essay collections from Asimov, this one is a surefire good read. Asimov explains in detail (but not too painful detail) a lot of difficult mathematics, step by careful step. Unlike a lot of his other collections, this one feels a little miscellaneous, but that doesn't at all detract from its quality.
 Table of Contents:

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 Introduction
 Part I NUMBERS AND COUNTING
 1. Nothing Counts
 2. One, Ten, Buckle My Shoe
 3. Exclamation Point!
 4. TFormation
 5. Varieties of the Infinite
 Part II NUMBERS AND MATHEMATICS
 6. A Piece of Pi
 7. Tools of the Trade
 8. The Imaginary That Isn't
 Part III NUMBERS AND MEASUREMENT
 9. Forget It!
 10. Prefixing It Up
 Part IV NUMBERS AND THE CALENDAR
 11. The Days of Our Years
 12. Begin at the Beginning
 Part V NUMBERS AND BIOLOGY
 13. That's About the Size of It
 Part VI NUMBERS AND ASTRONOMY
 14. The ProtonReckoner
 Part VII NUMBERS AND THE EARTH
 15. Water, Water, Everywhere—
 16. Up and Down the Earth
 17. The Isles of Earth