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The Universe Speaks in Numbers

Graham Farmelo

A groundbreaking exploration of how the interplay of physics and mathematics has enriched our understanding of the universe – essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp how physicists are attempting, in Stephen Hawking’s words, to ‘know the mind of God’.

4 in stock

£20.00
Format
Hardback
ISBN
9780571321803
Date Published
02.05.2019
Delivery
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.
Summary

‘A superbly written, riveting book.’
MARTIN REES, Astronomer Royal

‘I am overcome with admiration for its range and profundity. An amazing achievement.’
MICHAEL FRAYN

‘A wonderful book.’
TOM STOPPARD

A groundbreaking exploration of how the interplay of physics and mathematics has enriched our understanding of the universe – essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp how physicists are attempting, in Stephen Hawking’s words, to ‘know the mind of God’.

Searching for the fundamental laws of the universe, physicists have found themselves developing ambitious mathematical ideas. But without observation and experiment as their guide, are they now doing ‘fairy-tale physics’ as their detractors claim?

In The Universe Speaks in Numbers, Graham Farmelo argues that today’s greatest scientific minds are working in a tradition that dates back to Newton. He takes us on an adventure, from the Enlightenment to the breakthroughs of Einstein and Dirac, to the work of modern physicists and mathematicians shedding light on each other’s disciplines, to their mutual surprise and excitement. This blossoming relationship is responsible for huge advances in our understanding of space and time – and as Farmelo explains, could redefine reality as we know it.

LISTEN TO THE ACCOMPANYING PODCAST featuring interviews with leading scientists at www.grahamfarmelo.com

Critic Reviews

A superb history ... Fascinating and elegantly written ... Unsurprisingly from the author of The Strangest Man, an award-winning biography of Dirac, Farmelo has offered a thoughtful, well-informed reply to those who believe the quest for mathematical beauty has led theoretical physicists into adopting sterile, ultra-mathematical approaches divorced from reality. He makes a persuasive case ...

Manjit Kumar, Guardian
Critic Reviews

I am overcome with admiration for its range and profundity ... An amazing achievement.

Michael Frayn
Critic Reviews

Farmelo [writes] with his characteristic clarity, having carried out comprehensive research and personally interviewed many of today’s front-rank physicists ... The result is a book which, with its bird’s-eye view of the panorama of modern physics, is as authoritative as it is fascinating.

Marcus Chown, Prospect
Critic Reviews

Farmelo provides a detailed and enjoyable historical overview of key players, focusing just as much on the quirks and flaws of their personalities as well as on their scientific contributions. The book is entertaining and written with a contagious enthusiasm, and could almost be described as a page turner. ... In drumming up enthusiasm for mathematics and its historical importance, the book is a success. Farmelo paints a detailed picture of events, circumstances, relationships and personalities that captures the imagination and educates those unfamiliar with this world ... Entertaining and informative.

Nature
Critic Reviews

Entertaining and written with contagious enthusiasm and could almost be described as a page-turner.

Nature Physics
Critic Reviews

A superbly written, riveting book. In elegant prose, and using virtually no equations, Graham Farmelo describes the ongoing quest of great thinkers to understand the bedrock nature of reality, from the microworld to the cosmos.

Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge
GrahamFarmelo

Graham Farmelo is a Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and an Affiliate Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. He edited the best-selling It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science in 2002. His biography of Paul Dirac, The Strangest Man, won the 2009 Costa Biography Award and the 2010 Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize.

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