In this book, Johnny Ball tells one of the most important stories in world history – the story of mathematics.
By introducing us to the major characters and leading us through many historical twists and turns, Johnny slowly unravels the tale of how humanity built up a knowledge and understanding of shapes, numbers and patterns from ancient times, a story that leads directly to the technological wonderland we live in today. As Galileo said, 'Everything in the universe is written in the language of mathematics', andWonders Beyond Numbers is your guide to this language.
Mathematics is only one part of this rich and varied tale; we meet many fascinating personalities along the way, such as a mathematician who everyone has heard of but who may not have existed; a Greek philosopher who made so many mistakes that many wanted his books destroyed; a mathematical artist who built the largest masonry dome on earth, which builders had previously declared impossible; a world-renowned painter who discovered mathematics and decided he could no longer stand the sight ofa brush; and a philosopher who lost his head, but only after he had died.
Enriched with tales of colourful personalities and remarkable discoveries, there is also plenty of mathematics for keen readers to get stuck into. Written in Johnny Ball's characteristically light-hearted and engaging style, this book is packed with historical insight and mathematical marvels; join Johnny and uncover the wonders found beyond the numbers.
Johnny Ball is a life-long math obsessive and started out as a stand-up comic before appearing on BBC TV'sPlay School from 1967. His real break, though, came in 1977, with the first series ofThink of a Number. A smash hit, this spawned various other shows (such asJohnny Ball Reveals All), as Johnny quickly became one of the most famous faces on British television.
Johnny remains a regular fixture on TV and radio, and is comfortably Britain's most famous mathematician.
"(Ball) charms in this lively, accessible history of mathematics . . . excellent as an introduction to the field." -Publishers Weekly
"Johnny Ball's trademark enthusiasm for mathematics bubbles off every page. Clear, simple, readable, and informative – just as I expected. It's a winner!" - Ian Stewart, author of Significant Figures
"I became an instant Johnny Ball fan when his TV seriesThink of a Number first aired in the UK, and I saw how he engaged and delighted my two young daughters in a way I, their maths professor dad, could not. With this new book, his passion for, and sheer enjoyment of, mathematics will surely entice yet more generations to the subject we both love." - Keith Devlin, Stanford University mathematician, award-winning author and the 'Math Guy' on America's radio.
"I always found maths intriguing and baffling in equal measure - and the latter triumphed. If only I'd had Wonders Beyond Numbers when growing up. But I now have it and it is a re-awaking into a world of delight and wonder. It is a wonderful book." - Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham
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