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Book description

Can you cut an octagon into 5 pieces and rearrange them into a square? How about turning a star into a pentagon? These are just two of the infinite challenges of geometric dissections, the mathematical art of cutting figures into pieces that can be rearranged to form other figures, using as few pieces as possible. This book shows you many ingenious ways to solve these problems and the beautiful constructions you can create. Through the ages, geometric dissections have fascinated puzzle fans and great mathematicians alike. Here you will find dissections known to Plato alongside exciting new discoveries. The author explains solution methods carefully, assuming only a basic knowledge of high school geometry, then poses puzzles for you to solve. He also introduces the people - famous, not-so-famous, and obscure - who have worked on these problems, travelling from the palace school of tenth-century Baghdad to the mathematical puzzle columns in turn-of-the-century newspapers, from the 1900 Paris Congress of Mathematicians to the night sky of Canberra. This beautifully illustrated book will provide hours of enjoyment for any mathematical puzzle enthusiast.


‘A wonderfully entertaining book …’

Source: Scientific American

‘A beautiful book that entices, entertains, fascinates, and instructs. Collects, organizes, and presents 2000+ years of discovery alongside exciting new contributions. Complete, thorough, fun to read; this will be a classic.’

Source: American Mathematical Monthly

‘… beautiful and wittily presented … The book can be enjoyed at many levels.’

Source: SIAM Review

‘In this book, you will find some of the most challenging of dissection type puzzles, sure to keep you interested from the opening slice to the final splice.’

Source: Journal of Recreational Mathematics

‘Cutting a geometrical figure into the smallest number of pieces that will rearrange to make a different figure is one of the most elegant and surprising branches of recreational mathematics. No one knows more about this, or is more skilled at breaking old records, than Greg Frederickson. His book will be a classic.’

Martin Gardner

'The text is very lavishly illustrated, and as is only to be expected from the publisher the printing and layout are impeccable. The topic of this book is very restricted, but within its limits the wealth of material is amazing: if you are already into it, you will be in clover, while if you are new to it, you will become hooked! An earlier review (quoted on the back cover of the present book) of the hardback edition says 'His book will be a classic'. I fully agree! Thoroughly recommended.'

Source: The Mathematical Gazette

'Every puzzle fan will like this interesting and amusing book.'

Source: EMS Newsletter

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