Synopses & Reviews
Mathematics can reveal and illuminate things about the complex world we live in that can"t be found any other way. In this hugely informative and entertaining book, John D. Barrow takes the most perplexing of everyday phenomena'"from the odds of winning the lottery and the method of determining batting averages to the shapes of roller coasters and the reasoning behind the fairest possible divorce settlements'"and explains why things work the way they do. With elementary math and accompanying illustrations, he sheds light on the mysterious corners of the world we encounter every day. Have you ever considered why you always seem to get stuck in the longest line? Why two"s company but three"s a crowd? Or why there are six degrees of separation instead of seven? This clever little book has all the answers to these puzzling, everyday questions of existence that need not perplex us anymore.
"I suspect the craft behind this fun book will only really come to light as we attempt to tell Barrow's stories to our friends. Suddenly, we will realize how much effort Barrow has expended in explaining difficult things simply." Simon Ings
John Barrow’s wonderfully informative book should charm both lovers and haters of mathematics. --Sheldon Lee Glashow, Boston University, Nobel Laureate
"John Barrow's wonderfully informative book should charm both lovers and haters of mathematics." The Telegraph
"Where else does math become a romp, full of entertaining tricks and turns?"--Bryce Christensen,
Have you ever considered why you always get stuck in the longest line? Why two's company but three's a crowd? Or why there are six degrees of separation instead of seven? In this hugely informative and endlessly entertaining book, John D. Barrow takes the most baffling of everyday phenomena and--with simple math, lucid explanations, and illustrations--explains why they work the way they do. His witty, crystal-clear answers shed light on the dark and shadowy corners of the physical world we all think we understand so well.
About the Author
John D. Barrow is professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University. He has written many highly acclaimed books on science and mathematics, including One Hundred Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know, Cosmic Imagery, and The Book of Universes. He received the 2008 Michael Faraday Prize for Science Communication. He lives in Cambridge, England.