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 By: Steven Strogatz
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 Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

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Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, and insight.


Great listen
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Infinite Powers
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Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves. Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.


Elegant, clear, cutting edge.
 By Amazon Customer on 090519
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Amazing
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James Gleick explains the theories behind the fascinating new science called chaos. Alongside relativity and quantum mechanics, it is being hailed as the 20th century's third revolution.


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Not bad, but...
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Wonderfully written!
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 Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

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Performance

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Great listen
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Infinite Powers
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 Narrated by: Bob Souer
 Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
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Overall

Performance

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Elegant, clear, cutting edge.
 By Amazon Customer on 090519
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Complexity
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 By: M. Mitchel Waldrop
 Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
 Length: 17 hrs and 8 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

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 Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
 Unabridged

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Best AudioBook on Math/Physics yet
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Behind the familiar surfaces of the telephone, radio, and television lies a sophisticated and intriguing body of knowledge known as information theory. This is the theory that has permitted the rapid development of all sorts of communication, from color television to the clear transmission of photographs from the vicinity of Jupiter. Even more revolutionary progress is expected in the future.


Not bad, but...
 By Jane Doe on 062620
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What Is Life?
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 Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
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Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger's What is Life? is one of the great science classics of the 20th century. A distinguished physicist's exploration of the question which lies at the heart of biology, it was written for the layman but proved one of the spurs to the birth of molecular biology and the subsequent discovery of the structure of DNA. It appears here together with "Mind and Matter", his essay investigating a relationship which has eluded and puzzled philosophers since the earliest times.


An extraordinary look at life by a Physicist
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Bleh!!
 By PS on 112219

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One one zero zero zero zero zero one zero zero ...
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very good statistics overview
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Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire
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 By: Thomas Lin  editor, Sean Carroll  foreword
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 Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
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Broad collection of specific physics applications
 By James S. on 062619
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Something Deeply Hidden
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 By: Sean Carroll
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 Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

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Performance

Story
Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20thcentury physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: Physics has been in crisis since 1927.


The Best Layperson Book on Quantum Physics
 By Conrad Barski on 091119
By: Sean Carroll
Publisher's Summary
The tendency to synchronize may be the most mysterious and pervasive drive in all of nature. It has intrigued some of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Norbert Wiener, Brian Josephson, and Arthur Winfree.
At once elegant and riveting, Sync tells the story of the dawn of a new science. Steven Strogatz, a leading mathematician in the fields of chaos and complexity theory, explains how enormous systems can synchronize themselves, from the electrons in a superconductor to the pacemaker cells in our hearts. He shows that although these phenomena might seem unrelated on the surface, at a deeper level there is a connection, forged by the unifying power of mathematics.
Critic Reviews
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Overall

Performance

Story
 Ryan
 052612
Engaging, but maybe better suited for nonaudio
Selforganization  it's a profoundly selfevident quality of nature, but one that so far has eluded much deep understanding in science. Strogatz makes it easy to see why: nature, from atoms up to cells up to societies, is made up of many nonlinear components working together, and nonlinear systems, with their feedback loops, impulses, and fractal components, are fiendishly difficult to get one's head around, nothing like the idealized systems we encounter in Freshman Physics. Yet, their nonlinearity is the key to... well, maybe everything?
Sync explores the synchronization phenomena inherent in many complex systems, the way they coordinate their actions with respect to time, building order out of seeming noise. From fireflies to circadian rhythms to swinging pendulums to brain neurons to orbiting bodies to Higgs boson fields, there's an eerie tendency in nature for things to fall in step.
Despite being free of equations, it's a book that delves into some pretty dense territory, and might not be well suited to audiobook form. In most chapters, I found that a moment of daydreaming or distraction would have me rewinding to get back on track with the lecture. Strogatz spends a lot of time explaining abstract models, which held my interest as an engineer (the runnersonatrack metaphor actually mirrored a traffic simulation I’d developed, which had sync issues of its own), but might appeal less to other readers. There are also some rather esoteric topics in physics, which I didn’t understand very well. I kinda wish he'd put those chapters towards the end, because I almost quit listening after one frustrating section dealing with spiral waves, which luckily turned out to be followed by a much more interesting and accessible overview of Chaos Theory. I also liked the chapters that explore networks and their characteristics (think of the connections between film actors, exemplified by the party game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”).
If you're hoping for some grand unifying theory of synchronization, you won't find it here, just an examination of some different systems in which sync is present and praise for the work of several different researchers. I wouldn’t have minded more resonance between the separate parts (as it were), but I was curious about the topic and the book was worth my time. It’s always cool to learn about a field in which many key developments have happened within my own lifetime. Strogatz convinced me that the qualities that make selforganizing systems difficult to model with traditional mathematics might be the same qualities that are most important to understand. As a software developer, I found it exciting to think about how computers will be used to further exploration of the universe’s emergent interconnectedness, and how discoveries might feed back into how we think about software design. We might even find out something profound.
3.5 stars.
21 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 serine
 040616
a great primer on complexity
I enjoyed this book every bit as much as Gleick's book on chaos. Strogatz is an excellent writer. Able to convey complex concepts of chaos and synchronicity to the general reader, this book is for anyone with interest in the topic. If you don't fully understand chaos from one perspective, don't worry. Storgatz provides many.
With discussions of his own work as well as the work of mentors, students, and others in the field, Strogatz addressed the broad application of sync in the world and universe. Skilled at capturing the various personalities of people he has worked with, Strogatz also included interesting stories about many researchers in the field as well as interesting stories about the inner workings of academia. With examples from biology (ie., neurons, heartbeat, and sleep/circadian rhythm), to physics and engineering (ie., metronomes, super conductors, power grids, and the bridge in London), to social connectedness (ie., 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon/small world model), and the future of sync studies (consciousness, evolution, immune system, the universe as a computer, and more), there are many fun things to learn about. I was also happy to learn about the lesser known role of Stanley Milgram in uncovering the 6 degrees of separation principle.
Who knew what the study of fireflies would bring? Excellent book.
4 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Jayram
 102511
Best math audio book
I would rate Sync as one of the best mathematics audiobook that can be enjoyed and understood (even in audio format). Steven Strogatz is a pioneering mathematics professor working on chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics. He has successfully integrated his understanding of the principles of synchrony and emergence of synchrony in various natural phenomena and came out with a intuitive, entertaining book mixed with historical anecdotes. Must buy book for any science loving audible listeners.
10 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Gary
 121513
After listening, can't explain to others.
The book is not an easy listen. Be prepared for statements like "the coherence of the neurons in our brain are best thought of as solving a differential equation to determine the equilibrium solution involved in the nonlinear system....".
The book covers many diverse topics, from why does the face of the moon always face towards us to how does a laser work. The author ties all of the topics together by showing how each of the constituent parts acts to produce the whole system.
Each of the different topics was exciting, but I did not understand the topic well enough to explain it to others after having listened to the topic. That probably means he didn't explain the topic at a simple enough level for me to understand.
Any high school student or college beginner who is thinking about majoring in mathematics should listen to this book. The author presents the exciting diverse fields available for the math practitioner.
4 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Janet Gallagher
 080712
Not as intriguing as I expected.
Would you try another book from Steven Strogatz and/or Kevin T. Collins?
no.
Would you ever listen to anything by Steven Strogatz again?
no.
What about Kevin T. Collins’s performance did you like?
He showed enthusiasm for the subject.
Could you see Sync being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
no.
Any additional comments?
Not a read for fun. Educational, but not intriguing.
4 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 jason
 071812
If you suffer from insomnia, the cure is at hand!
What disappointed you about Sync?
Monotonous delivery of an intermittently interesting book. I've read Rise and Fall..., Decline and Fall,... and everything from Wuthering to Principia Mathematicus. This was dry, boring, and more of an autobiographical overview of what the author has done than anything else.
Would you ever listen to anything by Steven Strogatz again?
No
How could the performance have been better?
Any variation in tone would have been welcome.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
It was relatively easy to understand give the subject.
4 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 RS
 110212
The . . . .Narration . . . . . Is . . . . . Awful
Would you try another book from Steven Strogatz and/or Kevin T. Collins?
No . . . . . Never
Would you recommend Sync to your friends? Why or why not?
No
Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin T. Collins’s performances?
The . . . . . . Narrator . . . . . . Kevin . . . . . T . . . . . Collins . . . . . .Appears . . . . . To . . . . . Have . . . . . Some . . . . . . Sort . . . . . . of . . . . . .Reading . . . . . .Disability. . . . . . . . . . . . .I'm . . . . Not . . . . . Exaggerating . . . . . . When . . . . . I . . . . . Say . . . . . . That . . . . . .Listening . . . . . to . . . . . . Him . . . . . . Read . . . . . . This . . . . . . Book . . . . . . Is . . . . . . Like . . . . . Trying . . . . . . . To . . . . . . Read . . . . . . .This . . . . . . .Sentence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The . . . . . . .Cadence . . . . . . . And . . . . . . .Tonality . . . . . . .Are . . . . . . . Both . . . . . . .As . . . . . . Mindnumbing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This . . . . . . . . . .Is . . . . . . . . . The . . . . . . . . . .Worst . . . . . . . . . .Audio . . . . . . . . Book . . . . . . . . Narration . . . . . . . . I . . . . . . . . Have . . . . . . Ever . . . . . . . .Heard.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
A . . . . . .Strong . . . . . . Desire . . . . . .To . . . . . . Shove . . . . . . .My . . . . . . Head . . . . . . Through . . . . . . .A . . . . . . Plate . . . . . . . Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Window.
20 people found this helpful

Overall
 Tyler
 052311
One Dense Book
Maybe I'm dense, but I sure thought this book was a bit on the dry and hard to follow side. Good information to be sure, but a lot of the book goes into excrutiating detail about math experiments. If you're fond of reading academic math journals, this book is for you.
11 people found this helpful

Overall
 Joshua
 031011
Listen before you buy
This is my first review, I haven't ever felt compelled to write one before, but this time was different.
The content is great, or at least I'm sure its great had I been able to get through the first couple chapters. But the reader is boring and unenthusiastic, to say the least. Books like this require a conversational, realistic tone that this reader did not provide. My suggestion, pick up the physical copy of this one, the audiobook is disappointing.
15 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 HB
 101512
Fascinating topic  Strogatz demath's well
Any additional comments?
Kevin T Collins did a good job of narrating the book, except for one word used in multiple places: capacitors. They are pronounced as they are spelled, not "capacitators". Mr Collins added an extra "TA" in there that was distracting. To an electrical engineer, it was like nails on a chalkboard.
2 people found this helpful