1089 and All That: A Journey into Mathematics

ISBN : 9780199590025

David Acheson
192 ページ
122 x 173 mm
  • Accessible and entertaining style
  • Insightful overview to appeal to lay-readers and maths-lovers alike
  • Includes entertaining illustrations, photos and drawings (some by famous cartoonists)
  • Develops readers' knowledge at a gentle and digestible pace

David Acheson's extraordinary little book makes mathematics accessible to everyone. From very simple beginnings he takes us on a thrilling journey to some deep mathematical ideas. On the way, via Kepler and Newton, he explains what calculus really means, gives a brief history of pi, and even takes us to chaos theory and imaginary numbers. Every short chapter is carefully crafted to ensure that no one will get lost on the journey. Packed with puzzles and illustrated by world famous cartoonists, this is one of the most readable and imaginative books on mathematics ever written.


1: 1089 and All That
2: "In Love with Geometrie"
3: But ... that's Absurd ...
4: The Trouble with Algebra
5: The Heavens in Motion
6: All Change!
7: On Being as Small as Possible
8: "Are We Nearly There?"
9: A Brief History of pi
10: Good Vibrations
11: Great Mistakes
12: What is the Secret of All Life?
13: e=2.718 ...
14: Chaos and Catastrophe
15: Not Quite the Indian Rope Trick
16: Real or Imaginary?


David Acheson is Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2004 for his 'outstanding contributions to teaching and learning', and was President of the Mathematical Association for 2010-11. He gives many popular maths lectures to the general public, of all ages, and these often end with a short demonstration of maths applied to the electric guitar. He is also author of From Calculus to Chaos (OUP 1997) and Elementary Fluid Dynamics (OUP 1990).

Thought provoking. - THES

Popular maths is not easy to do, but David Acheson has really achieved it with this pocket-sized gem of a book. - Brian Clegg, Popular Science

Review from previous edition 
1089 and All That is an instant classic... an inspiring little masterpiece. - Mathematical Association of America

Possibly the nicest maths book ever written. - Kjartan Poskitt, author of Murderous Maths

Every so often an author presents scientific ideas in a new way... Starting from such minimalist material, David Acheson works his way up to chaos and catastrophe theory. Not a page passes without at least one intriguing insight... Anyone who is baffled by mathematics should buy it. And all mathematicians should buy at least a dozen copies to hand out to people they meet at parties. My enthusiasm for it knows no bounds. - Ian Stewart, New Scientist

The tone of this little gem of a book is set by the allusion in its title to the W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman classic 1066 and All That, and the outrageous Steve Bell cartoon on its cover ... The book is such an easy and entertaining read (my non-mathematical family members agree) ... There are few mathematicians who succeed in writing popular accounts of their craft without being superficial or condescending. With this book David Acheson has joined the best of them. - Times Higher Education Supplement

My ten-year-old daughter read the book with my guidance and loved it. Even mathematicians will find fresh perspectives on old themes in this playful and inventive book. - John Mighton in The Mathematical Intelligencer
The reader is left with a sense of the magic of mathematics ... An earlier reviewer has advised everyone to 'go out and buy a dozen copies', and I heartily agree, and hope that our embattled schoolteachers (and university lecturers!) take up the cry. - UK Nonlinear News

On the surface this book is another of those 'let's look at the funny things about numbers' books. But no, this one was far more than that. It treated subjects briefly but in depth and breadth, linked them together, didn't make assumptions... Truly inspiring, and a great read over a weekend. - Mathematics Teaching

Every teenage mathematician should have a copy. - Symmetry Plus Magazine

An ideal present for friends and relatives who are not mathematicians. - London Mathematical Society Newsletter

Even though you have doubtless read everything by Keith Devlin, Simon Singh, Martin Gardner...and you-name-it, this wonderful work is yet another 'must' for your bookshelf! - European Mathematical Society Newsletter

An ingenious, pleasure-filled and humorous journey into mathematics. - Upsala Nya Tidning

The jacket blurb does not exaggerate.....at least, not by much. - Canadian Mathematical Society Wow! - Mathematics Teacher

An amusing and entertaining roller-coaster ride into the world of mathematics. - American Mathematical Society

Fasten your seatbelts! - Mathematics in School