Author(s): Marcus du Sautoy
Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Is the universe infinite? Do we know what happened before the Big Bang? Where is human consciousness located in the brain? And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson? In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data. Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding? In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.
Praise for Marcus du Sautoy:
'Marcus du Sautoy [is] surely the single element in the Venn diagram intersection of "mathematician" and "cool"' The Guardian
'Marcus Du Sautoy knows how to tell a story, and, even more important, how to make difficult ideas palatable and entertaining. He is never condescending and is always true to the spirit of his subject. He is a living refutation of Hardy's snobbish view that popularization is 'work for second rate minds" Sunday Telegraph
Praise for 'The Number Mysteries':
'Careful now! This book may trick you into learning something. Warning! Don't start reading this unless you have something to scribble on. Someday all maths will be taught like this. If Maths is the Queen of Sciences, this is her with her petticoats undone' Dara O'Briain
'Mind-bending, fascinating and useful too. Maths didn't used to be this much fun' Alan Davies
'A distinguished biologist and I were being escorted through the Panama jungle by an enthusiastic field worker, when the great man whispered to me, "What a joy to be shown around by a man who really loves his animals." The joke was that that man's animals were plants. Numbers are Marcus du Sautoy's animals, and his love for them glows on every page. Marcus du Sautoy is the Steve Irwin of the number kingdom' Richard Dawkins
Marcus du Sautoy has been named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK's leading scientists, has written extensively for the Guardian, The Times and the Daily Telegraph and has appeared on Radio 4 on numerous occasions. In 2008 he was appointed to Oxford University's prestigious professorship as the Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science, a post previously held by Richard Dawkins.