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Symmetry is all around us. Of fundamental significance to the way we interpret the world, this unique, pervasive phenomenon indicates a dynamic relationship between objects. Combining a rich historical narrative with his own personal journey as a mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy takes a unique look into the mathematical mind as he explores deep conjectures about symmetry and brings us face-to-face with the oddball mathematicians, both past and present, who have battled to understand symmetry's elusive qualities.
This new ebook from the author of 'The Music of the Primes' combines a personal insight into the mind of a working mathematician with the story of one of the biggest adventures in mathematics: the search for symmetry.
Every time we download music, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our cell phones, we are relying on great mathematical inventions. In The Number Mysteries, one of our generation's foremost mathematicians Marcus du Sautoy offers a playful and accessible examination of numbers and how, despite efforts of the greatest minds, the most fundamental puzzles of nature remain unsolved. Du Sautoy tells about the quest to predict the future—from the flight of asteroids to an impending storm, from bending a ball like Beckham to forecasting population growth. He brings to life the beauty behind five mathematical puzzles that have contributed to our understanding of the world around us and have helped develop the technology to cope with it. With loads of games to play and puzzles to solve, this is a math book for everyone.
Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how—if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind—it can so perfectly explain the physical world. Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics” in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that—mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is “a product of human thought that is independent of experience,” how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us? Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.
Szpiro's book provides a delightful, well-written, eclectic selection of mathematical tidbits that makes excellent airplane reading for anyone with an interest in mathematics, regardless of their mathematical background. Excellent gift material. --Keith Devlin, Stanford University, author of The Unfinished Game and The Language of Mathematics It is great to have collected in one volume the many varied, insightful and often surprising mathematical stories that George Szpiro has written in his mathematical columns for the newspapers through the years. --Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford University, author of The Music of the Primes and Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature Mathematics is thriving. Not only have long-standing problems, such as the Poincare conjecture, been solved, but mathematics is an important element of many modern conveniences, such as cell phones, CDs, and secure transactions over the Internet. For good or for bad, it is also the engine that drives modern investment strategies. Fortunately for the general public, mathematics and its modern applications can be intelligible to the non-specialist, as George Szpiro shows in A Mathematical Medley. In stories of a few pages each, Szpiro describes in layman's terms mathematical problems that have recently been solved (or thought to have been solved), research that was published in scientific journals, and mathematical observations about contemporary life. Anecdotal stories about the lives of mathematicians and stories about famous old problems are interspersed among other vignettes.
Although the patterns are computer-generated, the book is informal and emphasis is on the fun that the true pattern lover finds in doing rather than in reading about the doing.

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