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**PREFACE : **

The square root of 2 is a fascinating number – if a little less famous
than such mathematical stars as pi, the number e, the golden ratio, or
the square root of –1. (Each of these has been honored by at least one
recent book.) Here, in an imaginary dialogue between teacher and
student, readers will learn why v2 is an important number in its own
right, and how, in puzzling out its special qualities, mathematicians
gained insights into the illusive nature of irrational numbers. Using no
more than basic high school algebra and geometry, David Flannery
manages to convey not just why v2 is fascinating and significant, but
how the whole enterprise of mathematical thinking can be played out in a
dialogue that is imaginative, intriguing, and engaging. Original and
informative, The Square Root of 2 is a one-of-a-kind introduction to the
pleasure and playful beauty of mathematical thinking.

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