Approximating Perfection: A Mathematician’s Journey into the by L. P. Lebedev;Michael J. Cloud

By L. P. Lebedev;Michael J. Cloud

This is a e-book when you take pleasure in brooding about how and why Nature will be defined utilizing mathematical instruments. Approximating Perfection considers the historical past at the back of mechanics in addition to the mathematical principles that play key roles in mechanical applications.

targeting the versions of utilized mechanics, the publication engages the reader within the forms of nuts-and-bolts concerns which are mostly refrained from in formal engineering classes: how and why types stay imperfect, and the standards that prompted their improvement. the outlet bankruptcy studies and reconsiders the fundamentals of calculus from a completely utilized standpoint; next chapters discover chosen themes from strong mechanics, hydrodynamics, and the usual sciences.

Emphasis is put on the common sense that underlies modeling in mechanics and the various wonderful parallels that exist among possible assorted components. The mathematical calls for at the reader are stored to a minimal, so the ebook will entice a large technical audience.

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We shall now extend the limit concept to functions in general. It is here that the important notion of continuity arises. Let us briefly review the idea of a real valued function. It is worth doing this because, in continuum mechanics, we will need to consider its generalizations to functions taking vectorial and tensorial values, and even to functions having other functions as arguments; the latter are called functionals if their values are real or complex numbers, and mappings (or operators) if their values are functions or other mathematical entities.

The length of a given segment should be compared with the length of a standard segment that can be said to possess unit length. Any physics student is aware that the meter length was determined by the length of a standard metal rod kept under lock and key somewhere by a standards organization. We measure everything in terms of the length of this rod. But although the rod is maintained under controlled environmental conditions, its length will vary a bit due to tiny changes in air temperature, pressure, and so on, in its holding chamber.

In the nineteenth century it was found to be an independent statement that might be true or untrue in real space — we still do not fully understand the real geometry of our space. So this postulate turned out to be nontrivial, and modern geometry regards it as an axiom for the so-called Euclidean geometry. But there are geometries with other sets of axioms. In Lobachevsky’s geometry, through a point on a plane there are infinitely many straight lines parallel to a given one; in Riemannian geometry, it is taken for granted that on the plane there are no lines parallel to a given one.

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