Chases and Escapes: The Mathematics of Pursuit and Evasion

Paul J. Nahin

“When we were children, we used to play tag. The majority of us are unaware that this seemingly simple game of tag, dodgeball, and hide-and-seek is actually an application of pursuit theory and that the same ideas behind these games also apply to military tactics, and high-seas chases by the Coast Guard, and even amorous pursuits. In his book Chases and Escapes, Paul Nahin provides the first comprehensive history of this intriguing branch of mathematics, from its classical analytical roots to the present.

Nahin also provides a variety of difficult puzzles with their historical context and wider applications, drawing on game theory, geometry, linear algebra, target-tracking systems, and much more. Chases and Escapes offer computer tools that readers can use for their own cutting-edge analyses and includes solutions to all puzzles.

This book will intrigue anyone interested in the mathematics behind pursuit and evasion, especially with the addition of a fascinating new preface on how the Enola Gay managed to avoid the shock wave from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”