In this Book

  • An Equation for Every Occasion: Fifty-Two Formulas and Why They Matter
  • Book
  • John M. Henshaw
  • 2014
  • Published by: Johns Hopkins University Press
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summary
A little math, a bit of history, and a dose of storytelling combine to reveal the importance of equations in everyday life.With this fun romp through the world of equations we encounter in our everyday lives, you’ll find yourself flipping through the stories of fifty-two formulas faster than a deck of cards. John M. Henshaw’s intriguing true accounts, each inspired by a different mathematical equation, are both succinct and easy to read. His tales come from the spheres of sports, business, history, the arts, science, and technology. Anecdotes about famous equations, like E=mc2, appear alongside tales of not-so-famous—but equally fascinating—equations, such as the one used to determine the SPF number for sunscreen. Drawn from the breadth of human endeavor, Henshaw's stories demonstrate the power and utility of math. He entertains us by exploring the ways that equations can be used to explain, among other things, Ponzi schemes, the placebo effect, “dog years,” IQ, the wave mechanics of tsunamis, the troubled modern beekeeping industry, and the Challenger disaster. Smartly conceived and fast paced, his book offers something for anyone curious about math and its impacts.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. An Equation for Every Occasion
  1. As the Earth Draws the Apple
  2. pp. 1-3
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  1. And All the Children Are Above Average
  2. pp. 4-7
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  1. The Lady with the Mystic Smile
  2. pp. 8-10
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  1. The Heart Has Its Reasons
  2. pp. 11-13
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  1. AC/DC
  2. pp. 14-17
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  1. The Doppler Effect
  2. pp. 18-21
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  1. Do I Look Fat in These Jeans?
  2. pp. 22-24
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  1. Zeros and Ones
  2. pp. 25-27
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  1. Tsunami
  2. pp. 28-30
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  1. When the Chips Are Down
  2. pp. 31-33
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  1. A Stretch of the Imagination
  2. pp. 34-36
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  1. Woodstock Nation
  2. pp. 37-39
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  1. What Is π?
  2. pp. 40-42
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  1. No Sweat
  2. pp. 43-45
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  1. Road Range
  2. pp. 46-49
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  1. The Bends
  2. pp. 50-53
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  1. It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity
  2. pp. 54-57
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  1. The World’s Most Beautiful Equation
  2. pp. 58-60
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  1. Breaking the Law
  2. pp. 61-63
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  1. The Mars Curse
  2. pp. 64-66
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  1. Eureka!
  2. pp. 67-69
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  1. A Penny Saved . . .
  2. pp. 70-72
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  1. If I Only Had a Brain
  2. pp. 73-76
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  1. Because It Was There
  2. pp. 77-79
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  1. Four Eyes
  2. pp. 80-82
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  1. Bee Sting
  2. pp. 83-86
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  1. Here Comes the Sun
  2. pp. 87-89
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  1. A Leg to Stand On
  2. pp. 90-92
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  1. Love Is a Roller Coaster
  2. pp. 93-95
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  1. Loss Factor
  2. pp. 96-99
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  1. A Slippery Slope
  2. pp. 100-102
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  1. Transformers
  2. pp. 103-106
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  1. A House of Cards
  2. pp. 107-109
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  1. Let There Be Light
  2. pp. 110-112
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  1. Smarty Pants
  2. pp. 113-115
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  1. As Old as the Hills
  2. pp. 116-118
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  1. Can You Hear Me Now?
  2. pp. 119-122
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  1. Decay Heat
  2. pp. 123-126
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  1. Zero, One, Infinity
  2. pp. 127-129
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  1. Terminal Velocity
  2. pp. 130-132
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  1. Water, Water, Everywhere
  2. pp. 133-135
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  1. Dog Days
  2. pp. 136-138
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  1. Body Heat
  2. pp. 139-142
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  1. Red Hot
  2. pp. 143-145
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  1. A Bolt from the Blue
  2. pp. 146-148
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  1. Like Oil and Water
  2. pp. 149-152
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  1. Fish Story
  2. pp. 153-155
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  1. Making Waves
  2. pp. 156-159
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  1. A Drop in the Bucket
  2. pp. 160-163
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  1. Fracking Unbelievable
  2. pp. 164-166
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  1. Take Two Aspirins and Call Me in the Morning
  2. pp. 167-170
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  1. The World’s Most Famous Equation
  2. pp. 171-174
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 175-184
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 185-187
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