Everything you wanted to know about numbers is included in this book, including aliquot sequences, the cattle problem, Pascal’s triangle, and the Syracuse algorithm.
Why was the number of Hardy’s taxi significant? Why does Graham’s number need its own notation? How many grains of sand would fill the universe? What is the connection between the Golden Ratio and sunflowers? Why is 999 more than a distress call?
All these questions and a host more are answered in this fascinating book, now revised with nearly 200 extra entries as well as 250 additions to the original entries. There is even a comprehensive index for those annoying occasions when you remember the name but can’t recall the number.
About the Author
David Wells was born in 1940. He had the rare distinction of being a Cambridge scholar in mathematics and failing his degree. He subsequently trained as a teacher and after working on computers and teaching machines taught mathematics and science in primary schools and mathematics in secondary schools. While at university he became the British under-21 chess champion, and in the mid 1970s was a game inventor, a puzzle composer, and the puzzle editor of Games and Puzzles magazine. From 1981 to 1983 he published The Problem Solver, a magazine of mathematical problems for students. He has published several books of problems and popular mathematics including The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Geometry, The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Puzzles, The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Mathematics, and, also for Penguin, You Are a Mathematician.