It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science

Front Cover
Graham Farmelo
Granta, 2003 - Science - 284 pages
3 Reviews
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.

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User Review  - ewrinc - LibraryThing

This is a 'math appreciation' book for non-mathematicians. Good equations are beautiful (though not all beautiful equations are good). Each chapter is written by an eminent author about an equation ... Read full review

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

Really good chapters on the central equations of the quantization of light (Planck-Einstein), special relativity (Einstein), general relativity (Einstein), quantum mechanics (Schrödinger), quantum ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

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.

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