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Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures in Applied Mathematics by Robert B. Banks

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18

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

And to Continue the Song

…bluebirds fly Birds fly over the rainbow Why then, oh why, can't I?

Nature is very generous. Frequently, and always gratuitously, it provides all of us with spectacular exhibitions of magnificent beauty. And surely, at or near the top of everyone's list of incredibly beautiful displays of nature would be the rainbow. For thousands of years, poets and artists, scientists and mathematicians have attempted to describe the rainbow with words and paintings, symbols and equations.

According to historical records, the noted Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) made extensive studies of rainbows, trying to understand what they are and how they are created. But for many hundreds of years, ...

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