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Math Help - The most important books in the history of Math and Sciences

  1. #1
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    The most important books in the history of Math and Sciences

    Dear all,
    I'm an artist working on projects concerning maths and technology.

    I'm working on a conceptual work about human knowledge and for that I'm collecting the most important books concerning maths, engineering and sciences. I'm looking for the book (or books) considered the essential vade mecum for each of the disciplines below. Please if you can help even with one discipline I will appreciate! I know the choice can be subjective just give me your opinion!

    Algebra
    Geometry
    Trigonometry
    Statistic
    Analysis

    Mechanical Engineering
    Chemical Engineering
    Electrical Engineering
    Civil Engineering
    Aerospace Engineering
    Genetic Engineering
    Nanoegineering
    Eartquake Engineering

    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Anatomy

    THANK YOU!

    Margherita
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  2. #2
    A Plied Mathematician
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    A non-exhaustive list, naturally:

    Geometry: Euclid, Elements.
    Physics: Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
    Anatomy: Henry Gray, Anatomy of the Human Body
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  3. #3
    Super Member Bacterius's Avatar
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    You failed to mention Number Theory. How could you ? Throw a Disquisitiones Arithmetica (Gauss) in there, please.
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  4. #4
    MHF Contributor undefined's Avatar
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    Another: A Treatise on Electricity & Magnetism by James Clerk Maxwell

    Breakthroughs are usually published in article form rather than book form.. Also, "vade mecum" seems to be quite a different idea from "most important books in the history of".
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  5. #5
    A Plied Mathematician
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    Another: A Treatise on Electricity & Magnetism by James Clerk Maxwell
    Comment: that would go in the physics category.

    Breakthroughs are usually published in article form rather than book form.
    Today that's true. However, as you look at the broad sweep of history, including especially the centuries before the 20th, I would say that books dominated articles.

    Also, "vade mecum" seems to be quite a different idea from "most important books in the history of".
    Technically, I'm sure you're correct. But isn't it true that the most important books are going to be the books people reference a lot? Today, after all, we have citation indices, and people worry (whether they should or not is another matter) about how many times they're cited, and by whom, etc. I think it's fair to say, in the grand tradition of mathematicians defining a whole bunch of concepts and then proving them all to be equivalent , that generally the important books are the books that are referenced a lot. That's not a one-to-one correspondence, I'll agree.
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  6. #6
    MHF Contributor undefined's Avatar
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    Well, I mentioned the difference between vade mecum and important historical book because, for example, Gauss's Disquisitiones Arithmeticae was an extremely influential book and yet is a bit hard to find in English translation... list price on Amazon is $142.21! (Softcover is cheaper but it is unrevised and contains translation errors.) On the other hand, Grey's textbook on anatomy is still a standard reference, although in 40th edition.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you guys for your help.

    Yes, there is a difference between vade mecum and important historical book. The idea behind my project is: if you had the chance to save a group of books before a catastrophe sweep mankind away, knowing that your choice would preserve humankind knowledge and would allow you and a small group of survivors to restart everything from the point it was interrupted, what books would you choose?

    Articles are also welcome, if they would serve the purpose.

    Hope that is clearer now.

    Thank you for any further help
    Margherita
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  8. #8
    Member Mathelogician's Avatar
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    Well..., If you want to save mankind's knowledge in nearly all branches,[Mathematics(Specially Trigonometry)-Philoshophy-Logic-...], I suggest you take a look at the following site in which a lot of greatest books due human history colud be found!
    Internet Archive: Free Movies, Music, Books & Wayback Machine
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