Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe

Ian Stewart. Basic, $27.99 (360p) ISBN 978-0-465-09610-7
Stewart (Professor Stewart’s Incredible Numbers), emeritus professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick (U.K.), demonstrates how scientific inquiry and math go hand in hand in this accessible mathematical history of science. Each chapter revolves around a vexing cosmic concept—Earth’s unusually large Moon, Saturn’s “ears,” time stopping near a black hole, and fallibility in the Big Bang theory—and the math that explains or disproves it. Telling the story of how scientists and mathematicians harness abstract mathematical relationships to figure out the real world, Stewart deftly highlights the interdependent nature of ideas. Readers see how many people taking small steps forward keep science advancing. It is easy to see why “one of the common delights of mathematical physics is that equations often seem to know more than their creators do.” Stewart is sure to please math lovers, history buffs, and science enthusiasts alike by covering an array of eras, innovators, and disciplines. With virtually no equations, readers learn about complicated mathematical theory in a friendly, conversational tone; whether he’s discussing “white holes,” why “relativity and quantum mechanics are uneasy bedfellows,” or the shape of space itself, Stewart’s pages flip of their own accord. Illus. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/26/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-0-465-09611-4
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-1-5416-1725-4
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