The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics

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9780066210704: The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics

The paperback of the critically-acclaimed popular science book by a writer who is fast becoming a celebrity mathematician.

Prime numbers are the very atoms of arithmetic. They also embody one of the most tantalising enigmas in the pursuit of human knowledge. How can one predict when the next prime number will occur? Is there a formula which could generate primes? These apparently simple questions have confounded mathematicians ever since the Ancient Greeks.

In 1859, the brilliant German mathematician Bernard Riemann put forward an idea which finally seemed to reveal a magical harmony at work in the numerical landscape. The promise that these eternal, unchanging numbers would finally reveal their secret thrilled mathematicians around the world. Yet Riemann, a hypochondriac and a troubled perfectionist, never publicly provided a proof for his hypothesis and his housekeeper burnt all his personal papers on his death.

Whoever cracks Riemann's hypothesis will go down in history, for it has implications far beyond mathematics. In business, it is the lynchpin for security and e-commerce. In science, it has critical ramifications in Quantum Mechanics, Chaos Theory, and the future of computing. Pioneers in each of these fields are racing to crack the code and a prize of $1 million has been offered to the winner. As yet, it remains unsolved.

In this breathtaking book, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy tells the story of the eccentric and brilliant men who have struggled to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science. It is a story of strange journeys, last-minute escapes from death and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Above all, it is a moving and awe-inspiring evocation of the mathematician's world and the beauties and mysteries it contains.

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Review:

'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

About the Author:

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.

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Book Description Harper, 2003. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Inthe tradition of Fermat's Enigma and Pi, Marcus du Sautoy tells the illuminating, authoritative, and engagingstory of Bernhard Reimann and the ongoing quest tocapture the holy grail of mathematicsthe 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.". Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0066210704

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