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5 Best Books On The Beauty Of Math Recommended By Mathematician: Marcus du Sautoy

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Mathematics, often referred to as the language of the universe, has a profound beauty that captivates both mathematicians and enthusiasts alike. Its elegance and power lie in its ability to unlock the mysteries of the natural world and provide insights into the very fabric of reality.

Renowned mathematician Marcus du Sautoy, a celebrated figure in the field, has curated a list of five exceptional books that offer a glimpse into the beauty and wonder of mathematics. In this blog post, we will explore these top picks, each offering a unique journey into the fascinating world of math and the profound insights it brings.

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1. "One, Two, Three…Infinity" by George Gamow:

In "One, Two, Three…Infinity," George Gamow masterfully illustrates the breathtaking concepts and phenomena that permeate the realm of mathematics. This classic book takes readers on a thrilling journey from the basics of arithmetic to the wonders of infinite sets and the mysteries of relativity and quantum mechanics. Gamow's engaging narrative and lucid explanations make complex mathematical ideas accessible to readers, inviting them to marvel at the sheer elegance and profundity of mathematical concepts.

2. "A Disappearing Number" by Simon McBurney:

"A Disappearing Number" is a captivating play written by Simon McBurney that explores the beauty of mathematics through a mesmerizing narrative. Inspired by the story of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan, the play weaves together the themes of love, mathematics, and the interconnectedness of human lives. With a blend of historical context and imaginative storytelling, McBurney celebrates the power of mathematics to transcend cultural boundaries and illuminate the human spirit.

3. "The Glass Bead Game" by Herman Hesse:

"The Glass Bead Game," written by Nobel laureate Herman Hesse, is a literary masterpiece that contemplates the artistry and depth of mathematical thought. Set in a future society, the novel revolves around a prestigious intellectual game that combines diverse disciplines, including music, art, and mathematics. Through its enigmatic narrative, Hesse's novel inspires readers to ponder the beauty of abstract concepts and the harmonious interconnectedness of human knowledge.

4. "A Mathematician’s Apology" by G H Hardy:

In "A Mathematician’s Apology," G H Hardy reflects on the beauty of pure mathematics and the joys of pursuing abstract mathematical ideas. Written as an apology for his life's devotion to mathematics, Hardy's book exudes passion and reverence for the subject. He argues that mathematics is an art form in its own right and reveals the profound sense of satisfaction that arises from solving intricate mathematical problems. This book serves as a celebration of the elegance and intrinsic beauty of mathematical ideas.

5. "Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth" by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H Papadimitriou:

"Logicomix" is a graphic novel that masterfully interweaves history, mathematics, and philosophy in an epic tale of intellectual pursuit. The book chronicles the lives of logicians Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead as they embark on a quest to establish a solid foundation for mathematics through the Principia Mathematica. The graphic novel engages readers with the richness of mathematical ideas and the compelling human drama behind the search for truth.

The books recommended by esteemed mathematician Marcus du Sautoy offer a gateway into the mesmerizing world of mathematics and its profound beauty.

From exploring the elegance of mathematical concepts to delving into the lives of mathematical geniuses, each book on this list provides a unique and enriching perspective on the artistry and wonder of mathematics. Whether you are a mathematician, a student, or an enthusiast, these top picks are bound to inspire a deeper appreciation for the beauty of math and its endless possibilities.

Have you read any of these?


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