Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic TricksMagical Mathematics reveals the secrets of amazing, funtoperform card tricksand the profound mathematical ideas behind themthat will astound even the most accomplished magician. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, stepbystep instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today's mathematical knowledge. For example, the Gilbreath Principlea fantastic effect where the cards remain in control despite being shuffledis found to share an intimate connection with the Mandelbrot set. Other card tricks link to the mathematical secrets of combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, topology, the Riemann hypothesis, and even Fermat's last theorem. Diaconis and Graham are mathematicians as well as skilled performers with decades of professional experience between them. In this book they share a wealth of conjuring lore, including some closely guarded secrets of legendary magicians. Magical Mathematics covers the mathematics of juggling and shows how the I Ching connects to the history of probability and magic tricks both old and new. It tells the storiesand reveals the best tricksof the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. Magical Mathematics exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic streetgambling scam of threecard monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the thirteenth century and the oldest mathematical trickand much more. 
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Review: Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas That Animate Great Magic Tricks
User Review  Pix Smith  GoodreadsGood book, and interesting if you are into the math. Sometimes the concepts took a couple of reads, but some of that has to do with the page breaks and layout, for which I can't really fault the ... Read full review
Review: Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas That Animate Great Magic Tricks
User Review  Yofish  GoodreadsA little disappointing. I mean, this was Diaconis! (and Ron Graham). But just really bad at both math and magic. Not enough detail on the math (and I don't think that it was just because I wanted more ... Read full review
Contents
1 MATHEMATICS IN THE AIR  1 
2 IN CYCLES  17 
3 IS THIS STUFF ACTUALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING?  30 
4 UNIVERSAL CYCLES  47 
5 FROM THE GILBREATH PRINCIPLE TO THE MANDELBROT SET  61 
6 NEAT SHUFFLES  84 
7 THE OLDEST MATHEMATICAL ENTERTAINMENT?  103 
8 MAGIC IN THE BOOK OF CHANGES  119 