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The Prime Number Conspiracy: The Biggest Ideas in Math from Quanta (The MIT Press) / Lin, Thomas  
Publisher: The MIT Press  
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Sales Rank: 42913  

Quanta Magazine's stories of mathematical explorations show that “inspiration strikes willynilly,” revealing surprising solutions and exciting discoveries.
These stories from Quanta Magazine map the routes of mathematical exploration, showing readers how cuttingedge research is done, while illuminating the productive tension between conjecture and proof, theory and intuition. The stories show that, as James Gleick puts it in the foreword, “inspiration strikes willynilly.” One researcher thinks of quantum chaotic systems at a bus stop; another suddenly realizes a path to proving a theorem of number theory while in a friend's backyard; a statistician has a “bathroom sink epiphany” and discovers the key to solving the Gaussian correlation inequality. Readers of The Prime Number Conspiracy, says Quanta editorinchief Thomas Lin, are headed on “breathtaking intellectual journeys to the bleeding edge of discovery strapped to the narrative rocket of humanity's neverending pursuit of knowledge.”
Quanta is the only popular publication that offers indepth coverage of the latest breakthroughs in understanding our mathematical universe. It communicates mathematics by taking it seriously, wrestling with difficult concepts and clearly explaining them in a way that speaks to our innate curiosity about our world and ourselves. Readers of this volume will learn that prime numbers have decided preferences about the final digits of the primes that immediately follow them (the “conspiracy” of the title); consider whether math is the universal language of nature (allowing for “a unified theory of randomness”); discover surprising solutions (including a pentagon tiling proof that solves a centuryold math problem); ponder the limits of computation; measure infinity; and explore the eternal question “Is mathematics good for you?”
Contributors
Ariel Bleicher, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Kevin Hartnett, Erica Klarreich, Thomas Lin, John Pavlus, Siobhan Roberts, Natalie Wolchover
Copublished with Quanta Magazine