
Significant Figures
 The Lives and Work of Great Mathematicians
 Narrated by: Roger Clark
 Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged Audiobook
 Release date: 091217
 Language: English
 Publisher: Tantor Audio
 Whispersync for Voiceready
Regular price: $27.99
People who bought this also bought...

A Most Elegant Equation
 Euler’s Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics
 By: David Stipp
 Narrated by: Sean Pratt
 Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry". This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity, or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections.


Good and Simple
 By Christopher Alexander Teale Maldonado on 041618

The Quantum Labyrinth
 How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
 By: Paul Halpern
 Narrated by: Brian Troxell
 Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality. The softspoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full of wild ideas about the universe. The boisterous Feynman was a cautious physicist who believed only what could be tested. Yet they were complementary spirits.


A biography of two mad geniuses
 By Philomath on 101917

When Einstein Walked with Gödel
 Excursions to the Edge of Thought
 By: Jim Holt
 Narrated by: David Stifel
 Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot.


A good overview of scientific theory
 By Tracy Rowan on 091118

Calculating the Cosmos
 How Mathematics Unveils the Universe
 By: Ian Stewart
 Narrated by: Dana Hickox
 Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the finetuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid.


The Narrator's Dilemma
 By R. Yu on 121816

13.8: The Quest to Find the True Age of the Universe and the Theory of Everything
 By: John Gribbin
 Narrated by: Sam Devereaux
 Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
The 20th century gave us two great theories of physics. The general theory of relativity describes the behavior of very large things, and quantum theory the behavior of very small things. In this landmark audiobook, John Gribbin  one of the bestknown science writers of the past 30 years  presents his own version of the Holy Grail of physics, the search that has been going on for decades to find a unified "Theory of Everything" that combines these ideas into one mathematical package.


Simple, entertaining and easily understood
 By Amazon Customer on 032318

What Is Real?
 The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
 By: Adam Becker
 Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
 Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favored practical experiments over philosophical arguments.


Good, "light" "read"... potential caveat below...
 By James S. on 033118

A Most Elegant Equation
 Euler’s Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics
 By: David Stipp
 Narrated by: Sean Pratt
 Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Bertrand Russell wrote that mathematics can exalt "as surely as poetry". This is especially true of one equation: ei(pi) + 1 = 0, the brainchild of Leonhard Euler, the Mozart of mathematics. More than two centuries after Euler's death, it is still regarded as a conceptual diamond of unsurpassed beauty. Called Euler's identity, or God's equation, it includes just five numbers but represents an astonishing revelation of hidden connections.


Good and Simple
 By Christopher Alexander Teale Maldonado on 041618

The Quantum Labyrinth
 How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
 By: Paul Halpern
 Narrated by: Brian Troxell
 Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality. The softspoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full of wild ideas about the universe. The boisterous Feynman was a cautious physicist who believed only what could be tested. Yet they were complementary spirits.


A biography of two mad geniuses
 By Philomath on 101917

When Einstein Walked with Gödel
 Excursions to the Edge of Thought
 By: Jim Holt
 Narrated by: David Stifel
 Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot.


A good overview of scientific theory
 By Tracy Rowan on 091118

Calculating the Cosmos
 How Mathematics Unveils the Universe
 By: Ian Stewart
 Narrated by: Dana Hickox
 Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the finetuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid.


The Narrator's Dilemma
 By R. Yu on 121816

13.8: The Quest to Find the True Age of the Universe and the Theory of Everything
 By: John Gribbin
 Narrated by: Sam Devereaux
 Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
The 20th century gave us two great theories of physics. The general theory of relativity describes the behavior of very large things, and quantum theory the behavior of very small things. In this landmark audiobook, John Gribbin  one of the bestknown science writers of the past 30 years  presents his own version of the Holy Grail of physics, the search that has been going on for decades to find a unified "Theory of Everything" that combines these ideas into one mathematical package.


Simple, entertaining and easily understood
 By Amazon Customer on 032318

What Is Real?
 The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
 By: Adam Becker
 Narrated by: Greg Tremblay
 Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favored practical experiments over philosophical arguments.


Good, "light" "read"... potential caveat below...
 By James S. on 033118

A Mind at Play
 How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age
 By: Rob Goodman, Jimmy Soni
 Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
 Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Claude Shannon was a tinkerer, a playful wunderkind, a groundbreaking polymath, and a digital pioneer whose insights made the Information Age possible. He constructed firebreathing trumpets and customized unicycles, outfoxed Vegas casinos, and built juggling robots, but he also wrote the seminal text of the Digital Revolution. That work allowed scientists to measure and manipulate information as objectively as any physical object. His work gave mathematicians and engineers the tools to bring that world to pass.


I wanted more information about Information Theory
 By Bonny on 050818

Atom Land
 By: Jon Butterworth
 Narrated by: Wayne Forester
 Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Atom Land brings the impossibly small world of particle physics to life, taking listeners on a guided journey through the subatomic world. Listeners will sail the subatomic seas in search of electron ports, boson continents, and hadron islands. The sea itself is the quantum field, complete with quantum waves. Beware dark energy and extra dimensions, embodied by fantastical sea creatures prowling the far edges of the known world. Your tour guide through this whimsical  and highly instructive  world is Jon Butterworth, leading physicist at CERN.


Metaphor eh book great
 By ayxa kalai on 092118

Euclid's Window
 The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace
 By: Leonard Mlodinow
 Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
 Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space  in the living room or in some other galaxy  have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.


Wow!
 By Eric on 081310

Ripples in Spacetime
 Einstein, Gravitational Waves, and the Future of Astronomy
 By: Govert Schilling, Martin Rees
 Narrated by: Joel Richards
 Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Ripples in Spacetime is an engaging account of the international effort to complete Einstein's project, capture his elusive ripples, and launch an era of gravitationalwave astronomy that promises to explain, more vividly than ever before, our universe's structure and origin. The quest for gravitational waves involved years of risky research and many personal and professional struggles that threatened to derail one of the world's largest scientific endeavors.


Absolutely Loved it.
 By Quidne IT on 101117

The Pope of Physics
 Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age
 By: Gino Segre, Bettina Hoerlin
 Narrated by: Tim Campbell
 Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Enrico Fermi is unquestionably among the greats of the world's physicists, the most famous Italian scientist since Galileo. Called "the Pope" by his peers, he was regarded as infallible in his instincts and research. His discoveries changed our world; they led to weapons of mass destruction and conversely to lifesaving medical interventions. This unassuming man struggled with issues relevant today, such as the threat of nuclear annihilation and the relationship of science to politics.


Excellent, but...
 By Rubio on 022817

The Last Man Who Knew Everything
 The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age
 By: David N. Schwartz
 Narrated by: Tristan Morris
 Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In 1942, a team at the University of Chicago achieved what no one had before: a nuclear chain reaction. At the forefront of this breakthrough stood Enrico Fermi. Straddling the ages of classical physics and quantum mechanics, equally at ease with theory and experiment, Fermi truly was the last man who knew everything  at least about physics. But he was also a complex figure who was a part of both the Italian Fascist Party and the Manhattan Project, and a lessthanideal father and husband who nevertheless remained one of history's greatest mentors.


Good Book About An Important Scientist
 By John on 011718

Warped Passages
 Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
 By: Lisa Randall
 Narrated by: Donna Postel
 Length: 17 hrs and 42 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Warped Passages is an altogether exhilarating journey that tracks the arc of discovery from early 20thcentury physics to the razor's edge of modern scientific theory. One of the world's leading theoretical physicists, Lisa Randall provides astonishing scientific possibilities that, until recently, were restricted to the realm of science fiction. Unraveling the twisted threads of the most current debates on relativity, quantum mechanics, and gravity, she explores some of the most fundamental questions posed by Nature.


Physics textbook without the math
 By Victor on 051318

The Equations of Life
 How Physics Shapes Evolution
 By: Charles S. Cockell
 Narrated by: Ian Porter
 Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In The Equations of Life, biologist Charles S. Cockell makes the forceful argument that the laws of physics narrowly constrain how life can evolve, making evolution's outcomes predictable. If we were to find something very much like a lady bug eating something very much like an aphid on a distant planet, we shouldn't be surprised. The forms of life are guided by a limited set of rules, and, as a result, there is a narrow set of solutions to the challenges of existence.


Too many equations, not enough insights
 By Alec Drumm on 092418

Our Mathematical Universe
 My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
 By: Max Tegmark
 Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
 Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mindboggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.


Wow!
 By Michael on 020214

The Strangest Man
 The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom
 By: Graham Farmelo
 Narrated by: B. J. Harrison
 Length: 19 hrs and 27 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics.


Paul Dirac won 1933 Nobel Prize in physics
 By Jean on 030114

Beyond Infinity
 An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics
 By: Eugenia Cheng
 Narrated by: Moira Quirk
 Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In Beyond Infinity, musician, chef, and mathematician Eugenia Cheng takes listeners on a startling journey from math at its most elemental to its loftiest abstractions. Beginning with the classic thought experiment of Hilbert's hotel  the place where you can (almost) always find a room, if you don't mind being moved from room to room over the course of the night  she explores the wild and woolly world of the infinitely large and the infinitely small.


Overflowing With Needless Examples & Anecdotes
 By Richard on 042217

The Modern Scholar: Mathematics Is Power
 By: Professor William Bloch
 Narrated by: Professor William Bloch
 Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
 Original Recording

Overall

Performance

Story
William Goldbloom Bloch is a respected professor of mathematics at Wheaton College. This intriguing lecture series, Mathematics Is Power, delves into both the history of mathematics and its impact on people’s everyday lives from a nonmathematician’s perspective. Bloch first examines the history of mathematics and ageold questions pertaining to logic, truth, and paradoxes. Moving on to a discussion of how mathematics impacts the modern world, Bloch also explores abstract permutations such as game theory, cryptography, and voting theory.


A review from a mathematician
 By Roy Simpson on 032115
Publisher's Summary
In Significant Figures, acclaimed mathematician Ian Stewart introduces the visionaries of mathematics throughout history. Delving into the lives of 25 great mathematicians, Stewart examines the roles they played in creating, inventing, and discovering the mathematics we use today. Through these short biographies, we get acquainted with the history of mathematics from Archimedes to Benoit Mandelbrot, and learn about those too often left out of the cannon, such as Muhammad ibn Musa alKhwarizmi (c. 780850), the creator of algebra, and Augusta Ada King (18151852), Countess of Lovelace, the world's first computer programmer.
Tracing the evolution of mathematics over the course of two millennia, Significant Figures will educate and delight aspiring mathematicians and experts alike.
Critic Reviews
More from the same
What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall


5 Stars43

4 Stars23

3 Stars5

2 Stars1

1 Stars0
Performance


5 Stars38

4 Stars15

3 Stars7

2 Stars2

1 Stars0
Story


5 Stars44

4 Stars14

3 Stars3

2 Stars1

1 Stars0

Overall

Performance

Story
 Derek
 Buffalo, NY
 112317
Fantastic
Easy to follow narration, and the right amount of depth used for the discussion of each person. It certainly did its job in provoking my imagination and informing me
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Kurt Vega
 040818
Pronounce the names mathematicians correctly
Any additional comments?
Should take the extra effort to have someone review the pronunciation of main subjects names! Euler is oiler  not as it looks like in English.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Jacques Dolan
 012518
Great stories, math made accessible to the novice
Where does Significant Figures rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I like this audiobook most, because I think it is inspiring to people who like mathematics. Several other nonfiction audiobooks in similar areas are interesting, but many of the mathematical ones stop short of detail that illustrates how ingenious or special some of the mathematical thinkers were. I like that the ideas are here, they are accessible, but they aren't too watered down.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Significant Figures?
I learned a lot about integrable tops. It was fascinating to me how Kovalevskaya came into the picture.
Which character – as performed by Roger Clark – was your favorite?
I think Ramanujan's story is my favorite.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, for sure, although I had to pause it occasionally to look up great mathematicians or mathematical ideas to get more detail (Poincare and topology especially).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Kindle Customer
 042118
Fantastic Mathematical History Journey
Well written and researched exploration of the lives of 20+ significant Mathematical figures across the last 2500 years. As the author acknowledges, some favorites have been left out for sure, but a good and intriguing list. The narration is a bit study though, and imposed an unnecessary formality and inapproachability to this work. Luckily, the English cigar parlor overtone can be overcome, and the book enjoyed in its own right.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Logan PC
 030218
excellent, but tough listen
probably the most rewarding history book that I've ever listened to. I need to give the guy who read the audio book a lot of credit, but I can't remember his name. He did a really good job though. Not all of that stuff is easy to talk about and sound excited. I'm not even sure that it's appropriate to sound excited. I liked it anyway. I learned a lot about all of these people some of them I didn't even really know existed and others I knew of but I gained a lot of insight on who they were from this book.