In his first book since the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, Simon Singh offers the first sweeping history of encryption, tracing its evolution and revealing the dramatic effects codes have had on wars, nations, and individual lives. From Mary, Queen of Scots, trapped by her own code, to the Navajo Code Talkers who helped the Allies win World War II, to the incredible (and incredibly simple) logisitical breakthrough that made Internet commerce secure, The Code Book tells the story of the most powerful intellectual weapon ever known: secrecy.Throughout the text are clear technical and mathematical explanations, and portraits of the remarkable personalities who wrote and broke the world's most difficult codes. Accessible, compelling, and remarkably far-reaching, this book will forever alter your view of history and what drives it. It will also make you wonder how private that e-mail you just sent really is.
This introduction to the history of science in the seventeenth century examines the so-called 'scientific revolution' in terms of the interplay between two major themes. The Platonic-Pythagorean tradition looked on nature in geometric terms with the conviction that the cosmos was constructed according to the principles of mathematical order, while the mechanical philosophy conceived of nature as a huge machine and sought to explain the hidden mechanisms behind phenomena. Pursuing different goals, these two movements of thought tended to conflict with each other, and more than the obviously mathematical sciences were affected - the influence spread as far as chemistry and the life sciences. As this book demonstrates, the full fruition of the scientific revolution required a resolution of the tension between the two dominant trends.
Now Pappas has done it again, or rather, has done more
The pages of MORE JOY OF MATHEMATICS spill over with ideas, puzzles, games from all over the world, historic background, exciting graphics and up-to-the-minute math breakthrough. Readers will find plent to enjoy as they discover Pappas' unique easy reading style.
How did the replication bomb we call "life" begin and where in the world, or rather, in the universe, is it heading? Writing with characteristic wit and an ability to clarify complex phenomena (the New York Times described his style as "the sort of science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius"), Richard Dawkins confronts this ancient mystery.
Famous as a scientist, statesman, philosopher, businessman, and civic leader, Benjamin Franklin was also one of the most powerful and controversial American writers of his time, and has been a subject of intense debate ever since: to Matthew Arnold, he exemplified "victorious good sense"; to D.H. Lawrence, he was "the first dummy American." Franklin's classic Autobiography is his last word on his greatest literary creation -- his own invented persona, the original incarnation of the American success story.
For the first time, the authoritative editions of works by major American novelists, poets, scholars, and essayists collected in the hardcover volumes of The Library of America are being published singly in a series of handsome and durable paperback books. A distinguished author has contributed an introduction for each volume, which also includes a detailed chronology of the author's life and career, an essay on the choice of the text, and notes.
A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll
Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. G del, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.
In this compelling tour through the world of anomalous research, Richard Milton makes clear what the scientific establishment takes pains to deny: plenty of hard experimental evidence already exists for such things as cold fusion, paranormal phenomena, bioenergy, and the effectiveness of alternative medicine. Because these subjects and those who dare to investigate them are continually denied legitimacy by what can only be called the paradigm police, the public is led to believe that all claims made about such topics are completely groundless. With humor and an eye for the telling detail, the author describes many instances when the defenders of scientific orthodoxy acted with unscientific rigidity in the face of the evidence. Faraday, Roentgen, Edison, and even the Wright Brothers were thought to be charlatans by their contemporaries. Taking the broad view of the way science is done, Milton discusses the forces at work in the marginalization of unorthodox research, and makes the reader wonder if there is not something fundamentally wrong with the way that science is currently being practiced.
This sharply intelligent, consistently provocative book takes the reader on an astonishing, thought-provoking voyage into the realm of delightful uncertainty--a world of paradox in which logical argument leads to contradiction and common sense is seemingly rendered irrelevant.
In Visions, physicist and author Michio Kaku examines the great scientific revolutions that have dramatically reshaped the twentieth century--the quantum mechanics, biogenetics, and artificial intelligence--and shows how they will change and alter science and the way we live.The next century will witness more far-reaching scientific revolutions, as we make the transition from unraveling the secrets of nature to becoming masters of nature. We will no longer be passive bystanders to the dance of the universe, but will become creative choreographers of matter, life, and intelligence. The first section of Visions presents a shocking look at a cyber-world infiltrated by millions of tiny intelligence systems. Part two illustrates how the decoding of DNA's genetic structure will allow humans the godlike ability to manipulate life almost at will. Finally, VISIONS focuses on the future of quantum physics, in which physicists will perfect new ways to manipulate matter and harness the cosmic energy of the universe. What makes Michio Kaku's vision of the science of the future so compelling--and so different from the mere forecasts of most thinkers--is that it is based on the groundbreaking research taking place in labs today, as well as the consensus of over 150 of Kaku's scientific colleagues. Science, for all its breathtaking change, evolves slowly; we can accurately predict, asserts Kaku, what the direction of science will be, based on the paths that are being forged today. A thrilling, unique narrative that brings together the thinking of many of the world's most accomplished scientists to explore the world of the future, Visions is science writing at its best.
Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio. Even as he initiates us into the mysteries of real numbers, functions, and limits, Berlinski explores the furthest implications of his subject, revealing how the calculus reconciles the precision of numbers with the fluidity of the changing universe.
An odd and tantalizing book by a writer who takes immense pleasure in this great mathematical tool, and tries to create it in others.--New York Times Book Review