Steven H. Strogatz

Infinite Powers by Steven H. Strogatz is a captivating and enlightening exploration of calculus, a mathematical concept that is often misunderstood and underappreciated. Strogatz, a renowned math personality and author of The Joy of x, brings a fresh, accessible perspective to this essential subject, showing how it fundamentally shapes our world.

One of the most striking aspects of Infinite Powers is how Strogatz demystifies calculus. He emphasizes that calculus is not about complexity but about simplicity. By harnessing the concept of infinity, calculus breaks down complex real-world problems into manageable parts before reassembling them into elegant solutions. This approach makes calculus not only understandable but also profoundly logical and practical.

Strogatz illustrates how calculus is integral to many modern technologies and discoveries. Without it, we wouldn’t have cell phones, televisions, GPS, or ultrasound. Calculus has also been instrumental in unraveling DNA, discovering Neptune, and even fitting thousands of songs into a tiny device like an iPod.

Infinite Powers takes readers on a historical tour, tracing the development of calculus from its ancient Greek origins to its role in contemporary scientific advancements. Strogatz recounts fascinating stories of how calculus was used to solve pressing problems of various eras, such as determining the area of a circle with basic tools, explaining the retrograde motion of Mars, generating electricity, navigating space missions, and combating diseases like AIDS.

Strogatz convincingly argues that calculus is the language of the universe. By understanding and applying the principles of calculus, we gain a deeper appreciation of the world around us. His narrative is filled with examples that make us marvel at the power and beauty of this mathematical tool.

Infinite Powers is a must-read for anyone interested in mathematics, science, or the history of ideas. Strogatz’s engaging writing style and his ability to make complex concepts accessible ensure that this book will appeal to a broad audience. Whether you were scared away from calculus in school or are a seasoned mathematician, this book offers valuable insights and a renewed appreciation for the subject.

Take the plunge into the world of calculus with Steven H. Strogatz and prepare to see the universe in a whole new light.