Finding Moonshine: A Mathematician's Journey Through Symmetry
This new book 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.
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This new book 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. This is the story of how humankind has come to its understanding of the bizarre world of symmetry -- a subject of fundamental significance to the way we interpret the world around us. Our eyes and minds are drawn to symmetrical objects, from the sphere to the swastika, the pyramid to the pentagon. Symmetry indicates a dynamic relationship or connection between objects, and it is all-pervasive: in chemistry and physics the concept of symmetry explains the structure of crystals or the theory of fundamental particles; in evolutionary biology, the natural world exploits symmetry in the fight for survival; symmetry and the breaking of symmetry are central to ideas in art, architecture and music; the mathematics of symmetry is even exploited in industry, for example to find efficient ways to store more music on a CD or to keep your mobile phone conversation from cracking up through interference.Marcus du Sautoy strives constantly to push his own boundaries to find ways in which to share the excitement of mathematics with a broader audience; this book charts his own personal quest to master one of the most innate and intangible concepts, and to demonstrate the intricacy and beauty of the world around us.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||'If you don't experience a thrill of foreboding as du Sautoy ventures into this twilit territory, nothing in maths will be for you. Even if the thought of sitting down to a quintic equation makes you want to cry, it would still be hard to resist Moonshine's cocktail of anecdote, swashbuckling potted history and haphazard self-revelation. The moments of autobiographical intimacy bring the book to life ! a joy' Daily Telegraph 'Mesmerising ! articulate, fluent, funny and personable, [du Sautoy] is also absolutely passionate about mathematics, with a burning desire to make the rest of us as excited as he is about its problems, its patterns and its beauty. He captures for us with brilliant vividness the excitement of the pursuit of a solution to a difficult problem' Lisa Jardine, Sunday Times 'A fascinating and absorbing read' Financial Times 'A marvellous account ! these exasperating people with unkempt beards, untidy clothes, impossible manners and extraordinary obsessions, become, in this narrative, ultimately enviable.' Guardian 'A superlative mathematical entertainment; not pretty to the purist eye, but oh, so effective' Independent on Sunday Praise for Marcus du Sautoy and 'The Music of the Primes': 'Du Sautoy is a contagious enthusiast, a populist with a staunch faith in the public's intelligence!he has uncovered a wealth of intriguing anecdotes that he has woven into a compelling narrative.' Observer 'He laces the ideas with history, anecdote and personalia -- an entertaining mix that renders an austere subject palatable!valiant and ingenious!Even those with a mathematical allergy can enjoy du Sautoy's depictions of his cast of characters' The Times 'He brings hugely enjoyable writing, full of zest and passion, to the most fundamental questions in the pursuit of true knowledge.' Sunday Times 'A mesmerising journey into the world of mathematics and its mysteries.' Daily Mail 'A brilliant storyteller.' Independent
||Bertrams Star Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Marcus du Sautoy is a fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and has been named by The Independent on Sunday as one of Britain leading scientists. In 2001 he won the Berwick Prize of The London Mathmatical Society and in 2006 gace the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. His book 'The Music of the Prmes' was published in 2003 to widespread acclaim.