The Mystery of the Prime Numbers: Secrets of Creation v. 1

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9780956487902: The Mystery of the Prime Numbers: Secrets of Creation v. 1
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The Mystery of the Prime Numbers takes its readers on a journey into the inner workings of the number system. It makes use of an innovative visual approach to communicate some surprisingly advanced mathematical ideas without any need for formulas, equations, x's or y's. Brought to life by the gently psychedelic cartoon imagery of illustrator Matt Tweed, we can confidently say that nothing like this book has been created before. It's not just another "popular science" book about prime numbers (neither is it a book of woolly New Age number mysticism!) - rather, the issue of prime numbers acts as a gateway into some truly strange philosophical territory whose relevance extends well beyond abstract mathematics and which is genuinely worthy of the word "mystery". By the end of this volume, readers will have been shown conclusively that whatever it is, the seemingly familiar system of counting numbers is not what you thought it was! This book can be read by anyone who understands the basic ideas of counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, who has a general curiosity about the nature of things and who is able to concentrate hard enough to, say, work on a simple Sudoku puzzle.

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About the Author:

Matthew Watkins completed a PhD in mathematics in 1994, but has always been more interested in trying to understand what mathematics "is" and "where it comes from" (as well as trying to explain it to his non-mathematical friends) than pursuing a conventional research or teaching career.

The second half of the 1990s were spent living as a nomadic musician (he plays the saz, a seven-stringed Turkish instrument), contemplating the underlying nature of reality while wandering the British Isles, busking, picking fruit, planting trees, visiting megalithic sites, etc. The music continues.

In 1999 he had a little maths and physics reference book published (also illustrated by Matt Tweed) as part of the popular Wooden Books series. This has since been licensed by Walker & Co., NYC and last time he checked, it had been translated into at least half a dozen languages.

Since 2000, he's been an Honorary Fellow in Exeter University's mathematics department (which keeps changing its name, but is currently part of something called "SECaM". During this time, as well as having done a bit of teaching work, he initiated and has been since been curating the online Number Theory and Physics Archive and the related (but more popularly accessible) site Inexplicable Secrets of Creation, a project which naturally led to the idea of this series of books.

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