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Mathematics and Physics

Mathematics and Physics

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We now know that there is much more to classical mechanics than previously suspected. Derivations of the equations of motion, the focus of traditional presentations of mechanics, are just the beginning. This innovative textbook, now in its second edition, concentrates on developing general methods for studying the behavior of classical systems, whether or not they have a symbolic solution. It focuses on the phenomenon of motion and makes extensive use of computer simulation in its explorations of the topic. It weaves recent discoveries in nonlinear dynamics throughout the text, rather than presenting them as an afterthought. Explorations of phenomena such as the transition to chaos, nonlinear resonances, and resonance overlap to help the student develop appropriate analytic tools for understanding. The book uses computation to constrain notation, to capture and formalize methods, and for simulation and symbolic analysis. The requirement that the computer be able to interpret any expression provides the student with strict and immediate feedback about whether an expression is correctly formulated.

This second edition has been updated throughout, with revisions that reflect insights gained by the authors from using the text every year at MIT. In addition, because of substantial software improvements, this edition provides algebraic proofs of more generality than those in the previous edition; this improvement permeates the new edition.

Turing, Gödel, Church, and Beyond

In the 1930s a series of seminal works published by Alan Turing, Kurt Gödel, Alonzo Church, and others established the theoretical basis for computability. This work, advancing precise characterizations of effective, algorithmic computability, was the culmination of intensive investigations into the foundations of mathematics. In the decades since, the theory of computability has moved to the center of discussions in philosophy, computer science, and cognitive science. In this volume, distinguished computer scientists, mathematicians, logicians, and philosophers consider the conceptual foundations of computability in light of our modern understanding.

Some chapters focus on the pioneering work by Turing, Gödel, and Church, including the Church-Turing thesis and Gödel’s response to Church’s and Turing’s proposals. Other chapters cover more recent technical developments, including computability over the reals, Gödel’s influence on mathematical logic and on recursion theory and the impact of work by Turing and Emil Post on our theoretical understanding of online and interactive computing; and others relate computability and complexity to issues in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of mathematics.

Contributors:
Scott Aaronson, Dorit Aharonov, B. Jack Copeland, Martin Davis, Solomon Feferman, Saul Kripke, Carl J. Posy, Hilary Putnam, Oron Shagrir, Stewart Shapiro, Wilfried Sieg, Robert I. Soare, Umesh V. Vazirani

A Primer

This introduction to quantum algorithms is concise but comprehensive, covering many key algorithms. It is mathematically rigorous but requires minimal background and assumes no knowledge of quantum theory or quantum mechanics. The book explains quantum computation in terms of elementary linear algebra; it assumes the reader will have some familiarity with vectors, matrices, and their basic properties, but offers a review of all the relevant material from linear algebra. By emphasizing computation and algorithms rather than physics, this primer makes quantum algorithms accessible to students and researchers in computer science without the complications of quantum mechanical notation, physical concepts, and philosophical issues.

After explaining the development of quantum operations and computations based on linear algebra, the book presents the major quantum algorithms, from seminal algorithms by Deutsch, Jozsa, and Simon through Shor’s and Grover’s algorithms to recent quantum walks. It covers quantum gates, computational complexity, and some graph theory. Mathematical proofs are generally short and straightforward; quantum circuits and gates are used to illuminate linear algebra; and the discussion of complexity is anchored in computational problems rather than machine models.

Quantum Algorithms via Linear Algebra is suitable for classroom use or as a reference for computer scientists and mathematicians.

Mastering Complexity

In this book, Sanjoy Mahajan shows us that the way to master complexity is through insight rather than precision. Precision can overwhelm us with information, whereas insight connects seemingly disparate pieces of information into a simple picture. Unlike computers, humans depend on insight. Based on the author’s fifteen years of teaching at MIT, Cambridge University, and Olin College, The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering shows us how to build insight and find understanding, giving readers tools to help them solve any problem in science and engineering.

To master complexity, we can organize it or discard it. The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering first teaches the tools for organizing complexity, then distinguishes the two paths for discarding complexity: with and without loss of information. Questions and problems throughout the text help readers master and apply these groups of tools. Armed with this three-part toolchest, and without complicated mathematics, readers can estimate the flight range of birds and planes and the strength of chemical bonds, understand the physics of pianos and xylophones, and explain why skies are blue and sunsets are red.

The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering will appear in print and online under a Creative Commons Noncommercial Share Alike license.

Category theory was invented in the 1940s to unify and synthesize different areas in mathematics, and it has proven remarkably successful in enabling powerful communication between disparate fields and subfields within mathematics. This book shows that category theory can be useful outside of mathematics as a rigorous, flexible, and coherent modeling language throughout the sciences. Information is inherently dynamic; the same ideas can be organized and reorganized in countless ways, and the ability to translate between such organizational structures is becoming increasingly important in the sciences. Category theory offers a unifying framework for information modeling that can facilitate the translation of knowledge between disciplines.

Written in an engaging and straightforward style, and assuming little background in mathematics, the book is rigorous but accessible to non-mathematicians. Using databases as an entry to category theory, it begins with sets and functions, then introduces the reader to notions that are fundamental in mathematics: monoids, groups, orders, and graphs—categories in disguise. After explaining the “big three” concepts of category theory—categories, functors, and natural transformations—the book covers other topics, including limits, colimits, functor categories, sheaves, monads, and operads. The book explains category theory by examples and exercises rather than focusing on theorems and proofs. It includes more than 300 exercises, with solutions.

Category Theory for the Sciences is intended to create a bridge between the vast array of mathematical concepts used by mathematicians and the models and frameworks of such scientific disciplines as computation, neuroscience, and physics.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: 193 exercises, separate from those included in the book, with solutions

A Gentle Introduction

The combination of two of the twentieth century’s most influential and revolutionary scientific theories, information theory and quantum mechanics, gave rise to a radically new view of computing and information. Quantum information processing explores the implications of using quantum mechanics instead of classical mechanics to model information and its processing. Quantum computing is not about changing the physical substrate on which computation is done from classical to quantum but about changing the notion of computation itself, at the most basic level. The fundamental unit of computation is no longer the bit but the quantum bit or qubit. This comprehensive introduction to the field offers a thorough exposition of quantum computing and the underlying concepts of quantum physics, explaining all the relevant mathematics and offering numerous examples. With its careful development of concepts and thorough explanations, the book makes quantum computing accessible to students and professionals in mathematics, computer science, and engineering. A reader with no prior knowledge of quantum physics (but with sufficient knowledge of linear algebra) will be able to gain a fluent understanding by working through the book.

In the natural science of ancient Greece, music formed the meeting place between numbers and perception; for the next two millennia, Pesic tells us in Music and the Making of Modern Science, “liberal education” connected music with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy within a fourfold study, the quadrivium. Peter Pesic argues provocatively that music has had a formative effect on the development of modern science—that music has been not just a charming accompaniment to thought but a conceptual force in its own right.

Pesic explores a series of episodes in which music influenced science, moments in which prior developments in music arguably affected subsequent aspects of natural science. He describes encounters between harmony and fifteenth-century cosmological controversies, between musical initiatives and irrational numbers, between vibrating bodies and the emergent electromagnetism. He offers lively accounts of how Newton applied the musical scale to define the colors in the spectrum; how Euler and others applied musical ideas to develop the wave theory of light; and how a harmonium prepared Max Planck to find a quantum theory that reengaged the mathematics of vibration. Taken together, these cases document the peculiar power of music—its autonomous force as a stream of experience, capable of stimulating insights different from those mediated by the verbal and the visual.

This title is available in an enhanced iBook version through the iTunes iBook store. This innovative e-book for iOS devices gives seamless and easy access to the text and illustrations; you need merely touch a sound example to hear it and see the score in a moving line.

A Pragmatic Introduction to the Coq Proof Assistant

The technology of mechanized program verification can play a supporting role in many kinds of research projects in computer science, and related tools for formal proof-checking are seeing increasing adoption in mathematics and engineering. This book provides an introduction to the Coq software for writing and checking mathematical proofs. It takes a practical engineering focus throughout, emphasizing techniques that will help users to build, understand, and maintain large Coq developments and minimize the cost of code change over time.

Two topics, rarely discussed elsewhere, are covered in detail: effective dependently typed programming (making productive use of a feature at the heart of the Coq system) and construction of domain-specific proof tactics. Almost every subject covered is also relevant to interactive computer theorem proving in general, not just program verification, demonstrated through examples of verified programs applied in many different sorts of formalizations. The book develops a unique automated proof style and applies it throughout; even experienced Coq users may benefit from reading about basic Coq concepts from this novel perspective. The book also offers a library of tactics, or programs that find proofs, designed for use with examples in the book. Readers will acquire the necessary skills to reimplement these tactics in other settings by the end of the book. All of the code appearing in the book is freely available online.

In this challenging but exhilarating work, Sha Xin Wei argues for an approach to materiality inspired by continuous mathematics and process philosophy. Investigating the implications of such an approach to media and matter in the concrete setting of installation- or event-based art and technology, Sha maps a genealogy of topological media—that is, of an articulation of continuous matter that relinquishes a priori objects, subjects, and egos and yet constitutes value and novelty. Doing so, he explores the ethico-aesthetic consequences of topologically creating performative events and computational media. Sha’s interdisciplinary investigation is informed by thinkers ranging from Heraclitus to Alfred North Whitehead to Gilbert Simondon to Alain Badiou to Donna Haraway to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.

Sha traces the critical turn from representation to performance, citing a series of installation-events envisioned and built over the past decade. His analysis offers a fresh way to conceive and articulate interactive materials of new media, one inspired by continuity, field, and philosophy of process. Sha explores the implications of this for philosophy and social studies of technology and science relevant to the creation of research and art. Weaving together philosophy, aesthetics, critical theory, mathematics, and media studies, he shows how thinking about the world in terms of continuity and process can be informed by computational technologies, and what such thinking implies for emerging art and technology.

What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us

Many books explain what is known about the universe. This book investigates what cannot be known. Rather than exploring the amazing facts that science, mathematics, and reason have revealed to us, this work studies what science, mathematics, and reason tell us cannot be revealed. In The Outer Limits of Reason, Noson Yanofsky considers what cannot be predicted, described, or known, and what will never be understood. He discusses the limitations of computers, physics, logic, and our own thought processes.

Yanofsky describes simple tasks that would take computers trillions of centuries to complete and other problems that computers can never solve; perfectly formed English sentences that make no sense; different levels of infinity; the bizarre world of the quantum; the relevance of relativity theory; the causes of chaos theory; math problems that cannot be solved by normal means; and statements that are true but cannot be proven. He explains the limitations of our intuitions about the world—our ideas about space, time, and motion, and the complex relationship between the knower and the known.

Moving from the concrete to the abstract, from problems of everyday language to straightforward philosophical questions to the formalities of physics and mathematics, Yanofsky demonstrates a myriad of unsolvable problems and paradoxes. Exploring the various limitations of our knowledge, he shows that many of these limitations have a similar pattern and that by investigating these patterns, we can better understand the structure and limitations of reason itself. Yanofsky even attempts to look beyond the borders of reason to see what, if anything, is out there.

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