It All Adds Up
The Story of People and Mathematics
Just as non-musicians can love music, believes Launay, anyone can understand and marvel at the numbers and geometry that surround us every day. In this book he guides the reader on a journey through the history of mathematics, revealing how curiosity and serendipity have led to new discoveries, from ancient Mesopotamian frieze designs and the earliest written number symbols to the Mandelbrot set, which can be drawn only with the aid of computers.
Out of the Shadow of a Giant
How Newton Stood on the Shoulders of Hooke and Halley
Arguing that British science would not have developed very differently without Newton, the authors demonstrate his indebtedness to the achievements of his contemporaries, in particular Hooke, from whom he ‘borrowed’ many ideas, and Halley, who encouraged and paid for the publication of the Principia.
The Tangled Tree
A Radical New History of Life
Recent research has fundamentally challenged the view that genes are passed down vertically, from generation to generation, evolving slowly over time. This account describes the lives and discoveries of scientists including Carl Woese, Lynn Margulis and Tsutomu Watanabe, who have demonstrated that genes can move horizontally across species by viral infection, with significant implications for genetics, public health and our understanding of how the human race has evolved.