It Must Be Beautiful | Granta

  • Published: 06/02/2003
  • ISBN: 9781862075559
  • 130x20mm
  • 304 pages

It Must Be Beautiful

Graham Farmelo

The exact sciences have an immense weight and influence in our culture. At the heart of their effectiveness lies the mathematical equation. The difficult form of the great equations – particularly those of modern physics – has often acted as an obstacle to any understanding and they have come to embody the mystery and terror of modern science. This volume brings together well-known scientists, historians and writers about science as each seeks to unpack an equation and explain how it was arrived at, what it can do and what remains to be understood about it. The contributors include Roger Penrose, John Maynard Smith, Arthur Miller, Steven Weinberg and Oliver Morton.

A valuable exercise in bridging the gap between those who think in words and those who think in maths...Getting to the heart of science may be easier than you think

Evening Standard

Graham Farmelo and his colleagues have undertaken a heroic task - to make some of the fundamental ideas in science accessible to non-scientists. I take my hat off to them

Michael Frayn

It Must Be Beautiful is beautifully written. Even those of us who are afraid of the nine times table can find much to enjoy. A marvellous book

Allison Pearson

The Author

Roger Penrose on Einstein’s equations of General Relativity; John Maynard Smith on the equation in biology; Peter Galison, of Harvard University, on E=mc2; Robert May, President of the Royal Society, on the quadratic map; Graham Farmelo, Deputy Head of the Science Museum, on the Planck equation; Arthur Miller on the wave equation of Erwin Schrodinger; Oliver Morton, the award winning science journalist, on the Drake equation that predicts the likelihood of life beyond earth; a general essay by Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize laureate and author of Dreams of a Final Theory.

More about the author →