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The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematicsby Marcus Du Sautoy
Synopses & Reviews
In 1859, German mathematician Bernhard Riemann presented a paper to the Berlin Academy that would forever change the history of mathematics. The subject was the mystery of prime numbers. At the heart of the presentation was an idea that Riemann had not yet proved but one that baffles mathematicians to this day.
Solving the Riemann Hypothesis could change the way we do business, since prime numbers are the lynchpin for security in banking and e-commerce. It would also have a profound impact on the cutting-edge of science, affecting quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and the future of computing. Leaders in math and science are trying to crack the elusive code, and a prize of $1 million has been offered to the winner. In this engaging book, Marcus du Sautoy reveals the extraordinary history behind the holy grail of mathematics and the ongoing quest to capture it.
"[W]ill draw readers normally indifferent to the subject deep into the adventure of mathematics." Booklsit
"An amazing book! Du Sautoy provides a stunning journey into the wonderful world of primes." Oliver Sacks
"[Du Sautoy's] discussion of the Riemann Hypothesis itself...can lapse into metaphors...that are long on sublime atmospherics but short on meaningful explanation." Publishers Weekly
"A Royal Society research fellow takes the Riemann Hypothesis, reputedly the most difficult of all math problems, as the focus for his lively history of number theory....Du Sautoy keeps the story moving and gives a clear sense of the way number theory is played in his accessible text. A must for math buffs." Kirkus Reviews
Book News Annotation:
In their quest for the solution to the 1859 Reimann Hypothesis, the "Holy Grail" wrought of the mystery of prime numbers, mathematicians have developed aspects of number theory, logic, geometry, analysis, logic, probability theory, chaos theory, and quantum physics. Du Sautoy (mathematics, Oxford U.) describes how these various heroes and sinners blow apart the mathematical world of the Greeks in their search, develop startling theories, succeed, fail, and, it appears, incessantly persevere in their search for a definitive answer.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Inthe tradition of Fermats Enigma and Pi, Marcus du Sautoy tells the illuminating, authoritative, and engagingstory of Bernhard Reimann and the ongoing quest tocapture the holy grail of mathematics—the formula to predict prime numbers.Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, calls TheMusic of the Primes “an amazing book. . . . I could not put it down once Ihad started.” Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman,writes, “this fascinating account, decoding the inscrutable language of themathematical priesthood, is written like the purest poetry. Marcus du Sautoy's enthusiasm shines through every line of this hymnto the joy of high intelligence, illuminating as it does so even the darkestcorners of his most arcane universe.”
About the Author
Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. The author of The Music of the Primes, he is a frequent contributor on mathematics to newspapers and radio, and has hosted several programs for BBC television. He lives in London.
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