All is Change. Of Motion: Ancient & Modern


By: J.F. Riley
January 2015
Book Guild
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9781909984462
454 Pages, Illustrated
$44.50 Hardcover


All is Change describes the trials and tribulations, the topic of motion - and therefore variability and change - encountered from its ancient beginnings to its revelation and subsequent period of development. It is a story behind the conceptual development of the algebra of change and shape that we call the calculus, and about what it is, why we needed it and who made it happen. It exposes the mathematicians for the unique breed of practitioners they were and of the remarkable and frequently dangerous times they lived in.

It highlights the cross of rigour they carried for both protection and refuge, though at times this proved to be more like a jailor when the only way forward was just plain trial and error. Change the motion that drives it and shape that describes it is what makes the calculus a separate branch of mathematics. It ranks with the invention of the printing press and the discovery of electricity in the way it changed our lives, and we should all know just a little about it and of its long and perilous journey - a journey that began with pebbles used as counters but now plots the course to a star.