The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets

The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets➶ [Reading] ➸ The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets By Graham Farmelo ➫ – Tbjewellers.co.uk A groundbreaking exploration of how the interplay of physics and mathematics has enriched our understanding of the universe essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp how physicists are attemptin A groundbreaking exploration of how the interplay of Speaks in ePUB ↠ physics and mathematics has enriched our understanding of the universe essential reading for anyone who wants to grasp how physicists are attempting, in Stephen Hawking s words, to know the mind of GodOne of the great mysteries of science is that underlying all the complexities of the universe is a harmonious order, whose existence Einstein described as a miracle No less miraculous, the fundamental laws of the universe can be written in the language of advanced mathematicsSearching for these laws, physicists have The Universe Kindle - found themselves developing ambitious mathematical ideas without experiment as their guide In The Universe Speaks in Numbers, Graham Farmelo demonstrates how today s greatest scientific minds are working in a tradition that dates back to Newton He takes us on an adventure from the Enlightenment, through the breakthroughs of Einstein and Dirac, to the contemporary physicists and mathematicians who are shedding fascinating light on each other s disciplines As Farmelo shows, this blossoming relationship between mathematics and physics is responsible for huge, redefining advances in our understanding of reality, space and Universe Speaks in ePUB ✓ timeAlways lively, vivid and authoritative, Farmelo guides the reader through the most thrilling and controversial developments in contemporary thought LISTEN TO THE ACCOMPANYING PODCAST featuring interviews with leading scientists at grahamfarmelo A superbly written, riveting book In elegant prose, and using virtually no equations, Farmelo describes the ongoing quest of great thinkers to understand the bedrock nature of reality Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge I am overcome with admiration for this book s range and profundity An amazing achievement Michael Frayn, award winning writer of CopenhagenMasterful a riveting account of one of the greatest stories of our time Nima Arkani Hamed, Professor at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton.

Graham Farmelo is a senior research fellow at Speaks in ePUB ↠ the Science Museum, London and associate professor of physics at Northeastern University, US.

The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals
    The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals award winning writer of CopenhagenMasterful a riveting account of one of the greatest stories of our time Nima Arkani Hamed, Professor at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets
  • Graham Farmelo
  • 04 June 2018
  • 0571321801

10 thoughts on “The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Maths Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets

  1. says:

    Theoretical physics has taken something of a hammering lately with books such as Sabine Hossenfelder s Lost in Math The suggestion from these earlier titles is that theoretical physics is so obsessed with mathematics that many theoretical physicists spend their careers working on theory that doesn t actually apply to the universe, because the maths is interesting Even experimental physics can be tainted, as the driver for new expenditure in experiments, such as the proposed new collider at CER Theoretical physics has taken something of a hammering lately with books such as Sabine Hossenfelder s Lost in Math The suggestion from these earlier titles is that theoretical physics is so obsessed with mathematics that many theoretical physicists spend their careers working on theory that doesn t actually apply to the universe, because the maths is interesting Even experimental physics can be tainted, as the driver for new expenditure in experiments, such as the proposed new collider at CERN, is not driven by discoveries but by these mathematically directed theories Graham Farmelo presents the opposite view here that this speculative mathematical work is, in fact, a great success.As I am very much in the Hossenfelder camp, I expected to find Farmelo s book rather irritating, as it s effectively a love letter to mathematically obsessed theoretical physics but in reality an entertaining phrase, given the context I found it both interesting and enjoyable Farmelo has a clear enthusiasm for the wonders of higher abstract mathematics and takes us through the history of the transformation of physics from being driven by experiment and observation to being driven by mathematical theory with a light touch and some fascinating detail.However, much though I enjoyed The Universe Speaks in Numbers, it hasn t changed my position The book s subtitle is how modern maths reveals nature s deepest secrets but the problem is that it is failing to do so We discover lots of new and interesting mathematics with the physicists actually revealing new maths that surprised the mathematicians but hardly anything that has come out of this mathematical work that has carried physics forward in the last 40 years Modern maths isn t revealing nature s deepest secrets, it is revealing some of the secrets ofmaths, and that isn t what physics should be about.I think I can pinpoint where the worldview goes adrift from reality on page 127 of the book Farmelo comments Most of the remainder of the book is not conventional science, in which theorists make predictions that experimenters test rather, it is speculative science, still under development and often not yet susceptible to observational tests But it is science nonetheless I m afraid I can t agree Speculation isn t science It may become science, so isn t necessarily worthless scientifically speaking, but it certainly isn t science at the moment, and hasn t succeeded in making the leap in several decades.For example, as Hossenfelder points out in her book, string theory works best if the cosmological constant value that reflects the expansion or contraction of the universe is negative Unfortunately it s actually positive, but most string theorists spend their time working with a negative cosmological constant It makes for beautiful mathematics but has nothing to do with our universe It isn t science, it s maths.I haven t lost hope for physics, where there is still plenty of excellent work going on However, I don t share Farmelo s enthusiasm for building mathematical towers in the sky, piling speculation on speculation This doesn t however, distract from the fact that this is an excellent summary of the current position and how we got here, and Farmelo manages to put the state of theoretical physics across without alienating someone with a very different view, which surely is an excellent achievement

  2. says:

    Celebrity gossip of physicists and very little science to be found here with a sprinkling of God talk.

  3. says:

    This is a book length defense of the idea that it is good and proper that physicists are creating theories basedon pure mathematics than on physical experiments It is a position I don t really agree with, though the author makes a compelling case that this approach has worked before, and has a good chance of working again The actual math in modern physics would be far, far above my head, as well as over the head of almost all readers, so no attempt is made to fully describe it There is This is a book length defense of the idea that it is good and proper that physicists are creating theories basedon pure mathematics than on physical experiments It is a position I don t really agree with, though the author makes a compelling case that this approach has worked before, and has a good chance of working again The actual math in modern physics would be far, far above my head, as well as over the head of almost all readers, so no attempt is made to fully describe it There isfocus on the history of the ideas, people involved, and on how physicists and mathematicians are finally starting to see value in each other s work.One of the cool things that keeps coming up in new theories is dualities Many theories can be expressed in terms of completely different concepts but in the end can be proven to be mathematically equivalent

  4. says:

    I wanted a book on why the universe seems to be explicable in terms of math at a deeper philosophical level Instead I got a decent history of physics that covers some familiar ground the birth of relativity and quantum mechanics and some unfamiliar ground recent mathematical advances in gauge theory , with the combination of capsule biographies and light explanations that are not enough to fully explain.What made the book a littlethan that was the overarching narrative about the differ I wanted a book on why the universe seems to be explicable in terms of math at a deeper philosophical level Instead I got a decent history of physics that covers some familiar ground the birth of relativity and quantum mechanics and some unfamiliar ground recent mathematical advances in gauge theory , with the combination of capsule biographies and light explanations that are not enough to fully explain.What made the book a littlethan that was the overarching narrative about the different styles of physics, experimental, theoreticians responding to experiments, and theoreticians who treat mathematical beauty as an end unto itself Graham Farmelo argues that Einstein and Dirac were exemplars of this last approach and their modern heirs are string theorists who are working entirely unmoored from experiments or even commonsense reality, but Farmelo is still betting on them because of the mathematical beauty of their approach Over the course of the story, Farmelo describes a period of falling out between math and physics and how they came back together again that I had not previously been aware of.Overall, interesting but the main argument isasserted and proven and less new and creative than I would have hoped I might have to try Our Mathematical Universe My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

  5. says:

    A significant subject has been upheld and presented in a very lucid way This book is mostly a historical account till recent times on the nature of relation interface between physics and mathematics over the time with the study of mathematics supporting the theories of physics andrecently physics benefitting mathematical development This book highlights the very strong interdependence of each of the disciplines on each other and both of these having theories dual to each other.The intric A significant subject has been upheld and presented in a very lucid way This book is mostly a historical account till recent times on the nature of relation interface between physics and mathematics over the time with the study of mathematics supporting the theories of physics andrecently physics benefitting mathematical development This book highlights the very strong interdependence of each of the disciplines on each other and both of these having theories dual to each other.The intricate relation between physics and mathematics was not so easy to underpin or to describe over the time since revolutionary discoveries of our physical world was brought about by the pioneers like Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo Although among the ancient Greeks were notable figures who embraced the significant importance of mathematics to our physical world, like Pythagoras Pythagorean school, Plato and Archimedes, it was not until the great Sir Isaac Newton that a systematic analysis of Mathematical Principles for Natural World was laid down wide open to appreciate its significance.Since then the paths of the study of mathematics and physics have intertwined and also separated when these two aspects of Natural world was studied with distinct set of ways Mathematicians followed strict logic and militant rigour to bring about solid unshakable proofs Mathematicans believed in a Platonic existence of the axioms, theorems and principles which they discover with their rigourous methods.Whereas physicists relied on observations and measurement within the uncertainties of error, reasoning and intuition and ofcourse these being supported by a mathematical base for understanding its consistency The stringent rigour was not essential for every physical theories, if it is supported well by experimental facts Two great revolutions The Quantum theory and Special relativity sprouted out mostly supported by experimental results and intelligent reasoning with intuition of the luminaries like Planck, Einstein, Lorentz, Poincar to name a few Even the great Micheal Faraday was an excellent experimenter who gifted us with the idea of fields about seven decades before relativity and quantum theory s inception However James Clerk Maxwell superbly incorporated Faraday s ideas in his mathematical tour de force to lay bare the nature of electromagnetism and its mathematical structure However the dedicated study of mathematics progressed steadily over time with not any significant input from physicists since the days of Euclid among the Greeks and later on through Fermat, Euler, Lagrange,Cauchy, Gauss, Riemann to name some of the great mathematicians.However Newton s detailed work in the late 17th century and the masterstroke of Einstein in 1915 to wrought upon the description of gravity in terms of geometry reminded a severely close relation between these two disciplines of study From then on the history is teeming with such examples where theories in physics did progress when new mathematical principles were used Developments in quantum mechanics in the 1920s culminated in the celebrated Dirac Equation for electron using important mathematics like matrices, complex numbers and Clifford algebra which pointed towards a totally non intuitive discovery of the positron Two noteworthy lectures in the 1930s, one given by Einstein and the other by Dirac, highlighted the importance of mathematics to new discoveries in physics and both believed in concentrating on mathematics , than always hunting for experimental results.The conventional approach for mathematics was having no interdependence on physical theories and on the other hand physicists relied on assumptions and theories developed on reasoning of experimental results within uncertainties So even after such massive work done, as mentioned above , the two disciplines derailed into a long separation after the second world war Totally unlike what Einstein and Dirac suggested , this phase disappointed many great thinkers like Freeman Dyson and robbed them of hope of a merger of these two jewels.But eventually significant discoveries over the time not only revived the old spirit of physics being progressed by developing mathematics but this time mathematics was benefitted by physics with insights of physicists which out of the blue breathed with mathematical forms The attempt to unify all forces of nature gave birth to the String Theory which was fertile for new mathematical developments Even the successful Gauge theory was found to possess wonderful connection with Mathematics The scattering amplitude for collision of hadrons to study the nature of strong force gave rise to the modern jewel namely Amplituhedron by Nima Arkani Hamed and J.Trnka This sophisticated piece of work imbibed the geometric form of positive Grassmanian which have its description boiled down to whole numbers Thus the title of the book.It s worth reading to understand this wonderful relationship of Physics and Mathematics

  6. says:

    Agreed you should never judge a book by its cover, but this would beaptly titled A History of the Relationship Between Maths and Physics, with a few stories thrown in Would ve liked either a bitdetail on the maths, or else something entirely for the general reader, felt this sat somewhere in the middle.

  7. says:

    Extraordinary Best popular science ever

  8. says:

    The conceit here is nothing new to physics folk Math is unnaturally good at describing the universe So much so that many Physicists wonder if mathematics holds the answers over experimentation and other types of modeling This book was very much a historical exposition of the merging and synthesis of math and theoretical physics At times interesting but also at times a bit tedious I found Ultimately, there was not a lot of unpacking around the idea of math as a tool vs math as ultimate tr The conceit here is nothing new to physics folk Math is unnaturally good at describing the universe So much so that many Physicists wonder if mathematics holds the answers over experimentation and other types of modeling This book was very much a historical exposition of the merging and synthesis of math and theoretical physics At times interesting but also at times a bit tedious I found Ultimately, there was not a lot of unpacking around the idea of math as a tool vs math as ultimate truth even though I though it would be a central theme of the book.Personally, I m with Where Mathematics Come From How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into BeingGeorge Lakoff on mathematics math is a language invented inside us, not a truth out there It s so useful precisely because it is the language of logic and absolutes.Great quote by Maxwell the great tragedy of science the slaying of beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact

  9. says:

    Breezy romp though the mathematical abstractions that helped make physics into the formidable, envy inducing, philosophy adducing Prima Donna of natural sciences From Newton to Witten, the book attempts to show that the pursuit of mathematically beautiful patterns i.e numerical approximations and their unreasonable effectiveness at explaining physical observations and their internal consistency symmetry has helped physics achieve it s preeminence and predicts, nay advocates, this lin Breezy romp though the mathematical abstractions that helped make physics into the formidable, envy inducing, philosophy adducing Prima Donna of natural sciences From Newton to Witten, the book attempts to show that the pursuit of mathematically beautiful patterns i.e numerical approximations and their unreasonable effectiveness at explaining physical observations and their internal consistency symmetry has helped physics achieve it s preeminence and predicts, nay advocates, this line of attack a view strongly endorsed by Dirac, the subject of Farmelo s stellar previous book I was always stuck by the fact that around 1925, Heisenberg s haphazard use of matrix multiplication known to math since the 1700 s for his version of quantum mechanics was considered a radical step, but it appears gauge and string theory have finally started paying the favor back, leading to the creation of what Farmelo calls physical mathematics All in all a great source to brush up on jargon and inside references for cocktail party physics

  10. says:

    Although titled The Universe Speaks in Numbers How Modern Math Reveals Nature s Deepest Secrets, Farmelo scarcely uses any math in his book, just a couple of figures with hand drawn equations and next to no explanation While excellent in drawing biographical sketches of the main characters in the story of modern theoretical physics, the lack of anythingthan tiny hints as to what they actually is frustrating Given that the audience for this type of book is going to be small from the st Although titled The Universe Speaks in Numbers How Modern Math Reveals Nature s Deepest Secrets, Farmelo scarcely uses any math in his book, just a couple of figures with hand drawn equations and next to no explanation While excellent in drawing biographical sketches of the main characters in the story of modern theoretical physics, the lack of anythingthan tiny hints as to what they actually is frustrating Given that the audience for this type of book is going to be small from the start, why not reward them with some actual math

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