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e: The Story of a Number by Eli Maor

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eθ: Spira Mirabilis

Eadem mutata resurgo

(Though changed, I shall arise the same)—JAKOB BERNOULLI

An air of mystery always surrounds the members of a dynasty. Sibling rivalries, power struggles, and family traits that pass from one generation to the next are the stuff of countless novels and historical romances. England has its royal dynasties, America its Kennedys and Rockefellers. But in the intellectual world it is rare to find a family that, generation after generation, produces creative minds of the highest rank, all in the same field. Two names come to mind: the Bach family in music and the Bemoullis in mathematics.

The ancestors of the Bernoulli family fled Holland in 1583 to escape the Catholic persecution of the Huguenots. They settled ...

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