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The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook: a history of the Renaissance mathematics that birthed imaginary numbers, probability, and the new physics of the universe Hardcover – 12 Oct 2017
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‘This beautifully written book is a kind of experimental scientific biography that mashes up science with what seems to be non‑science, the better to explore the boundaries of what we still don’t know … a quite superb book.’Source: The Guardian
‘An enthralling biography of the polymath Jerome Cardano, which doubles as a primer on the strangeness of quantum physics ... This vivid book offers belated recompense to a gambler who lost more than he won in an eventful and turbulent life.’Source: The Sunday Times
‘4 stars ... Cardano turns out to be an intriguing figure, deserving of Brooks’ obsession ... [they] make for very entertaining and illuminating companions.’Source: The Mail on Sunday
‘Brooks is an exemplary science writer. His explanations have the sort of clarity you often yearn for when you read about science, but rarely find.’Source: The Daily Telegraph
‘[Brooks’s] history of [quantum theory] and his sketches of its principals ― Einstein, Schrödinger, Bohr ― are swift and precise, but he really shines in his lucid discussions of theory and experiment.’Source: Financial Times
‘Michael Brooks is the canniest science writer around. He writes, above all, with attitude.’Source: The Independent
‘Jerome Cardano is my all-time favourite mathematical rogue. Michael Brooks has brought him vividly to life in entertaining, informative, and highly original conversations about frontier physics, held across a gulf of centuries. A daring and successful experiment and a new kind of popular science writing.’Author: Ian Stewart
‘A beautifully novelistic fusion of physics and biography.’Source: The Daily Telegraph
‘Brooks communicates difficult stuff in an amiable and lucid manner.’Source: New Statesman
‘Michael Brooks is a magician in the old sense ― both scientist and artist. He uses both disciplines to create a compelling, fresh look at the quantum world. A fantastic read for students of reality.’Author: Gwyneth Lewis, author of Sunbathing in the Rain
About the Author
Michael Brooks, who holds a PhD in quantum physics, is an author, journalist, and broadcaster. A consultant at New Scientist, he also writes regularly for New Statesman. Brooks is the author of At The Edge of Uncertainty, The Secret Anarchy of Science, and the bestselling non-fiction title 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, THE, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many magazines. He has lectured at, amongst others, NYU, the American Museum of Natural History, and the University of Cambridge.
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While we can say with some degree of statistical certainty that say, a set percentage of those in their nineties will die in any one year, it remains uncertain as to the fate of any particular nonagenarian. That I can understand. Large, predictable. Small, apparently random. After which I am lost. Extrapositional, entanglement, photons in two positions at once - and one or two algebraic equations did not help my understanding, particularly when A x B was, as far as the quantum world is concerned, definitely not the same as B x A. Still, fear not, we are all "travellers in the dark".
Mr Brooks in fact tells us that we are all left to our own interpretations and he implies - I think - this has a correspondence with the fact that any measurement at the quantum level effects the position of whatever is being measured. Something to do with a cat, but as I say, I was lost. The cat was either dead or alive.
All is random? "Love has no why" says Meister Eckhart. The observer is King? What are the teachings of a lifetime? "An appropriate statement" says Yun-men. I see all this combined and inter-relational.
Constantly entertaining. I read it in a couple of days and enjoyed it a lot. Thank you.
Then you get the author, Michael Brooks, PhD in very small things that don't make a lot of sense. Not what you'd expect from a biographer. Michael melds the world of QED into the 16th century by looking far back, at when the mathematics was just being considered. Probability, imaginary numbers, algebra. And the vehicle? A conversation with a man dead for 400 years...
I couldn't put it down. I'm not sure of the appeal to a general audience, but if you're reading this, you're probably not afraid of a bit of arithmetic and quantum weirdness, in which case, you're in for a treat.
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