Is God a Mathematician?

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416594437

Category: Mathematics

Page: 320

View: 2409

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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.

Is God a Mathematician?

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743294068

Category: Mathematics

Page: 308

View: 5849

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Explores the plausibility of mathematical answers to puzzles in the physical world, in an accessible exploration of the lives and thoughts of such figures as Archimedes, Galileo, and Newton. By the author of The Golden Ratio. 50,000 first printing.

Is God a Mathematician?

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 074329405X

Category: Mathematics

Page: 308

View: 3411

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This fascinating exploration of the great discoveries of history's most important mathematicians seeks an answer to the eternal question: Does mathematics hold the key to understanding the mysteries of the physical world? Illustrations throughout.

The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved

How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743274623

Category: Mathematics

Page: 368

View: 4660

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What do Bach's compositions, Rubik's Cube, the way we choose our mates, and the physics of subatomic particles have in common? All are governed by the laws of symmetry, which elegantly unify scientific and artistic principles. Yet the mathematical language of symmetry-known as group theory-did not emerge from the study of symmetry at all, but from an equation that couldn't be solved. For thousands of years mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, until they encountered the quintic equation, which resisted solution for three centuries. Working independently, two great prodigies ultimately proved that the quintic cannot be solved by a simple formula. These geniuses, a Norwegian named Niels Henrik Abel and a romantic Frenchman named Évariste Galois, both died tragically young. Their incredible labor, however, produced the origins of group theory. The first extensive, popular account of the mathematics of symmetry and order, The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved is told not through abstract formulas but in a beautifully written and dramatic account of the lives and work of some of the greatest and most intriguing mathematicians in history.

Mathematics

Is God Silent?

Author: James Nickel

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781879998223

Category: Apologetics

Page: 409

View: 9089

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This book revolutionizes the prevailing understanding and teaching of math. This book is a must for all upper-level Christian school curricula and for college students and adults interested in math or related fields of science and religion. It will serve as a solid refutation for the claim, often made in court, that mathematics is one subject which cannot be taught from a distinctively biblical perspective. - Back cover.

Letters to a Young Mathematician

Author: Ian Stewart

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465008410

Category: Mathematics

Page: 224

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Mathematician Ian Stewart tells readers what he wishes he had known when he was a student. He takes up subjects ranging from the philosophical to the practical-what mathematics is and why it’s worth doing, the relationship between logic and proof, the role of beauty in mathematical thinking, the future of mathematics, how to deal with the peculiarities of the mathematical community, and many others.

The Artist and the Mathematician

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0786732881

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

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Nicolas Bourbaki, whose mathematical publications began to appear in the late 1930s and continued to be published through most of the twentieth century, was a direct product as well as a major force behind an important revolution that took place in the early decades of the twentieth century that completely changed Western culture. Pure mathematics, the area of Bourbaki's work, seems on the surface to be an abstract field of human study with no direct connection with the real world. In reality, however, it is closely intertwined with the general culture that surrounds it. Major developments in mathematics have often followed important trends in popular culture; developments in mathematics have acted as harbingers of change in the surrounding human culture. The seeds of change, the beginnings of the revolution that swept the Western world in the early decades of the twentieth century — both in mathematics and in other areas — were sown late in the previous century. This is the story both of Bourbaki and the world that created him in that time. It is the story of an elaborate intellectual joke — because Bourbaki, one of the foremost mathematicians of his day — never existed.

God and the Mathematics of Infinity

What Irreducible Mathematics Says about Godhood

Author: H. Chris Ransford

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 3838270193

Category: Religion

Page: 152

View: 608

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Drawing on the science and mathematics of infinity, H. Chris Ransford analyzes the traditional concept of godhood and reaches surprising conclusions. He addresses humankind's abiding core debate on the meaning of spirituality and God. Using mathematics, he explores key questions within this debate: for instance, why does evil exist if there is a God? The book fastidiously does not take sides nor proffers opinions, it only follows allowable mathematics wherever it leads. By doing so, it makes a major contribution to an understanding of the nature of reality.

The Golden Ratio

The Story of PHI, the World's Most Astonishing Number

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 9780307485526

Category: Mathematics

Page: 304

View: 6231

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Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887...This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio," was discovered by Euclid more than two thousand years ago because of its crucial role in the construction of the pentagram, to which magical properties had been attributed. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant, and it has been asserted that the creators of the Pyramids and the Parthenon employed it. It is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Salvador Dali's The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and poets and composers have used it in their works. It has even been found to be connected to the behavior of the stock market! The Golden Ratio is a captivating journey through art and architecture, botany and biology, physics and mathematics. It tells the human story of numerous phi-fixated individuals, including the followers of Pythagoras who believed that this proportion revealed the hand of God; astronomer Johannes Kepler, who saw phi as the greatest treasure of geometry; such Renaissance thinkers as mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa; and such masters of the modern world as Goethe, Cezanne, Bartok, and physicist Roger Penrose. Wherever his quest for the meaning of phi takes him, Mario Livio reveals the world as a place where order, beauty, and eternal mystery will always coexist. From the Hardcover edition.

The Grand Design

Author: Stephen Hawking,Leonard Mlodinow

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553907077

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 9594

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity. According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

The World of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Mathematician of God

Author: Massimo Mazzotti

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421410427

Category: Mathematics

Page: 240

View: 2478

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She is best known for her curve, the witch of Agnesi, which appears in almost all high school and undergraduate math books. She was a child prodigy who frequented the salon circuit, discussing mathematics, philosophy, history, and music in multiple languages. She wrote one of the first vernacular textbooks on calculus and was appointed chair of mathematics at the university in Bologna. In later years, however, she became a prominent figure within the Catholic Enlightenment, gave up the academic world, and devoted herself to the poor, the sick, the hungry, and the homeless. Indeed, the life of Maria Agnesi reveals a complex and enigmatic figure—one of the most fascinating characters in the history of mathematics. Using newly discovered archival documents, Massimo Mazzotti reconstructs the wide spectrum of Agnesi's social experience and examines her relationships to various traditions—religious, political, social, and mathematical. This meticulous study shows how she and her fellow Enlightenment Catholics modified tradition in an effort to reconcile aspects of modern philosophy and science with traditional morality and theology. Mazzotti's original and provocative investigation is also the first targeted study of the Catholic Enlightenment and its influence on modern science. He argues that Agnesi's life is the perfect lens through which we can gain a greater understanding of mid-eighteenth-century cultural trends in continental Europe. -- Paula Findlen

Why?

What Makes Us Curious

Author: Mario Livio

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476792127

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 3577

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Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio investigates perhaps the most human of all our characteristics—curiosity—in this “lively, expert, and definitely not dumbed-down account” (Kirkus Reviews) as he explores our innate desire to know why. Experiments demonstrate that people are more distracted when they overhear a phone conversation—where they can know only one side of the dialogue—than when they overhear two people talking and know both sides. Why does half a conversation make us more curious than a whole conversation? “Have you ever wondered why we wonder why? Mario Livio has, and he takes you on a fascinating quest to understand the origin and mechanisms of our curiosity. I thoroughly recommend it.” (Adam Riess, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, 2011). Curiosity is not only at the heart of mystery and suspense novels, it is also essential to other creative endeavors, from painting to sculpture to music. It is the principal driver of basic scientific research. Even so, there is still no definitive scientific consensus about why we humans are so curious, or about the mechanisms in our brain that are responsible for curiosity. In the ever-fascinating Why? Livio interviewed scientists in several fields to explore the nature of curiosity. He examined the lives of two of history’s most curious geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman. He also talked to people with boundless curiosity: a superstar rock guitarist who is also an astrophysicist; an astronaut with degrees in computer science, biology, literature, and medicine. What drives these people to be curious about so many subjects? An astrophysicist who has written about mathematics, biology, and now psychology and neuroscience, Livio has firsthand knowledge of his subject which he explores in a lucid, entertaining way that will captivate anyone who is curious about curiosity.

Mathematics in a Postmodern Age

A Christian Perspective

Author: James Bradley

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 0802849105

Category: Mathematics

Page: 399

View: 1073

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The discipline of mathematics has not been spared the sweeping critique of postmodernism. Is mathematical theory true for all time, or are mathematical constructs in fact fallible? This fascinating book examines the tensions that have arisen between modern and postmodern views of mathematics, explores alternative theories of mathematical truth, explains why the issues are important, and shows how a Christian perspective makes a difference. Contributors: W. James Bradley William Dembski Russell W. Howell Calvin Jongsma David Klanderman Christopher Menzel Glen VanBrummelen Scott VanderStoep Michael Veatch Paul Zwier

Finding Zero

A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466879106

Category: Mathematics

Page: 256

View: 2390

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The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got these numerals, which we so depend on, has for thousands of years been shrouded in mystery. Finding Zero is an adventure filled saga of Amir Aczel's lifelong obsession: to find the original sources of our numerals. Aczel has doggedly crisscrossed the ancient world, scouring dusty, moldy texts, cross examining so-called scholars who offered wildly differing sets of facts, and ultimately penetrating deep into a Cambodian jungle to find a definitive proof. Here, he takes the reader along for the ride. The history begins with the early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest zero—the keystone of our entire system of numbers—on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. While on this odyssey, Aczel meets a host of fascinating characters: academics in search of truth, jungle trekkers looking for adventure, surprisingly honest politicians, shameless smugglers, and treacherous archaeological thieves—who finally reveal where our numbers come from.

How Not to be Wrong

The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Author: Jordan Ellenberg

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143127535

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 480

View: 8642

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"Using the mathematician's method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman, minus the jargon ... Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need"--

Irreligion

A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up

Author: John Allen Paulos

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780809059188

Category: Mathematics

Page: 176

View: 2103

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Argues that there is no logical reason to believe in God, refuting twelve arguments commonly proposed to prove the existence of God, while offering commentary on such topics as miracles, cognitive illusions, and creationist probability.

The Mathematician's Shiva

A Novel

Author: Stuart Rojstaczer

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698152204

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 6356

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WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DEBUT FICTION For readers of This Is Where I Leave You and Everything Is Illuminated, “a brilliant and compelling family saga full of warmth, pathos, history and humor” (Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here) When the greatest female mathematician in history passes away, her son, Alexander “Sasha” Karnokovitch, just wants to mourn his mother in peace. But rumor has it the notoriously eccentric Polish émigré has solved one of the most difficult problems in all of mathematics, and has spitefully taken the solution to her grave. As a ragtag group of mathematicians from around the world descends upon Rachela’s shiva, determined to find the proof or solve it for themselves—even if it means prying up the floorboards for notes or desperately scrutinizing the mutterings of her African Grey parrot—Sasha must come to terms with his mother’s outsized influence on his life. Spanning decades and continents, from a crowded living room in Madison, Wisconsin, to the windswept beach on the Barents Sea where a young Rachela had her first mathematical breakthrough, The Mathematician’s Shiva is an unexpectedly moving and uproariously funny novel that captures humanity’s drive not just to survive, but to achieve the impossible.

The Great Unknown

Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science

Author: Marcus du Sautoy

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0735221812

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 7417

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“An engaging voyage into some of the great mysteries and wonders of our world." --Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dream and The Accidental Universe “No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting.” —Bill Bryson Brain Pickings and Kirkus Best Science Book of the Year Every week seems to throw up a new discovery, shaking the foundations of what we know. But are there questions we will never be able to answer—mysteries that lie beyond the predictive powers of science? In this captivating exploration of our most tantalizing unknowns, Marcus du Sautoy invites us to consider the problems in cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics, and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists and creative thinkers who are at the forefront of their fields. At once exhilarating, mind-bending, and compulsively readable, The Great Unknown challenges us to consider big questions—about the nature of consciousness, what came before the big bang, and what lies beyond our horizons—while taking us on a virtuoso tour of the great breakthroughs of the past and celebrating the men and women who dared to tackle the seemingly impossible and had the imagination to come up with new ways of seeing the world.

Mathematicians and Their Gods

Interactions Between Mathematics and Religious Beliefs

Author: Snezana Lawrence,Mark McCartney

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198703058

Category: Mathematics

Page: 298

View: 7120

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To open a newspaper or turn on the television it would appear that science and religion are polar opposites - mutually exclusive bedfellows competing for hearts and minds. There is little indication of the rich interaction between religion and science throughout history, much of which continues today. From ancient to modern times, mathematicians have played a key role in this interaction. This is a book on the relationship between mathematics and religious beliefs. It aims to show that, throughout scientific history, mathematics has been used to make sense of the 'big' questions of life, and theism is rich in both culture and character. Chapters cover a fascinating range of topics including the Sect of the Pythagoreans, Newton's views on the Apocalypse, Charles Dodgson's Anglican faith and Godel's proof of the existence of God.--