From ancient Greek geometry to today's cutting-edge research, Euler's Gem celebrates the discovery of Euler's beloved polyhedron formula and its far-reaching impact on topology, the study of shapes. In 1750, Euler observed that any polyhedron composed of V vertices, E edges, and F faces satisfies the equation V-E+F=2. David Richeson tells how the Greeks missed the formula entirely; how Descartes almost discovered it but fell short; how nineteenth-century mathematicians widened the formula's scope in ways that Euler never envisioned by adapting it for use with doughnut shapes, smooth surfaces, and higher dimensional shapes; and how twentieth-century mathematicians discovered that every shape has its own Euler's formula. Using wonderful examples and numerous illustrations, Richeson presents the formula's many elegant and unexpected applications, such as showing why there is always some windless spot on earth, how to measure the acreage of a tree farm by counting trees, and how many crayons are needed to color any map.
Filled with a who's who of brilliant mathematicians who questioned, refined, and contributed to a remarkable theorem's development, Euler's Gem will fascinate every mathematics enthusiast.
This book is based on an honors course in advanced calculus that the authors gave in the 1960's. The foundational material, presented in the unstarred sections of Chapters 1 through 11, was normally covered, but different applications of this basic material were stressed from year to year, and the book therefore contains more material than was covered in any one year. It can accordingly be used (with omissions) as a text for a year's course in advanced calculus, or as a text for a three-semester introduction to analysis.
The prerequisites are a good grounding in the calculus of one variable from a mathematically rigorous point of view, together with some acquaintance with linear algebra. The reader should be familiar with limit and continuity type arguments and have a certain amount of mathematical sophistication. As possible introductory texts, we mention Differential and Integral Calculus by R Courant, Calculus by T Apostol, Calculus by M Spivak, and Pure Mathematics by G Hardy. The reader should also have some experience with partial derivatives.
In overall plan the book divides roughly into a first half which develops the calculus (principally the differential calculus) in the setting of normed vector spaces, and a second half which deals with the calculus of differentiable manifolds.