Книга: Geometry and the imagination

Автор: Hilbert David

Жанр: математика

Страниц: 1

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Автор: Hilbert David

Жанр: математика

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iv

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strokes, so to speak, and based on the approach through visual intuition, should contribute to a more just appreciation of mathematics by a wider range of people than just the specialists. For it is true, generally speaking, that mathematics is not a popular subject, even though its importance may be generally conceded. The reason for this is to be found in the common superstition that mathematics is but a continuation, a further development, of the fme art of arithmetic, of juggling with numbers. Our book aims to combat that superstition, by olfering, instead of formulas, figures that may be looked at and that may easily be supplemented by models which the reader can construct. This book was written to bring about a greater enjoyment of mathematics, by making it easier for the reader to penetrate to the essence of mathematics without having to weight himself down under a laborious course of studies.

With aims like these to strive after, there could be no question of strict systematic arrangement or of completeness, nor was it possible to treat individual topics exhaustively. Also, it was impossible to assume the same amount of mathematical training on the reader's part as a prerequisite for all sections of the book; while the presentation is for the most part quite elementary, there are nevertheless some beautiful geometric investigations which can be fully explained only to those with a certain amount of training if tiresome length of presentation is to be avoided.

The appendices to the various chapters all assume a certain amount of knowledge for their understanding; they are throughout supplements to, and not explanations of, the main text.

The various branches of geometry are all interrelated closely and quite often unexpectedly. This shows up in many places in this book. Even so, because of the great diversity of the material treated, it was necessary to make each chapter more or less self- contained, and to avoid making the later chapters dependent for their understanding on a complete acquaintance with the earlier ones. We hope that, by making a few minor repetitions, we have rendered each chapter taken by itself — occasionally even an individual section taken by itself — understandable and interesting. We want to take the reader on a leisurely walk, as it were, in the big garden that is geometry, so that each may pick for himself a bouquet to his liking.

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The basis for this book was a course of lectures, given four times weekly, called Ausckuulicke Geometric, which I gave at Gottingen in the winter of 1920-21 and for which W. Rosemann worked out notes. In essence, the outline and contents of that course have been retained for this book, but S. Cohn-Vossen has re-worked many details, and has supplemented the material in quite a few places.

Tbe line diagrams have all been drawn by K. H. Naumann and H. Bodeker (Gottingen). The photographic pictures were taken by W. Zentssch (Gottingen), and the models he photographed belong to the collection of the Gottingen Mathematical Institute. The following have read the manuscript and proofs and made many valuable suggestions: W. Fenchel, H. Lewy, H. Schwerdtfeger, H. Heesch, and especially A. Schmidt. The final arrangement of the book has been S. Cohn-Vossen'8 responsibility.

DAVID HILRRRT

Gottingen, Iune 1982

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