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The Prime Number Conspiracy
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Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire
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Broad collection of specific physics applications
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One of the great insights of science is that the universe has an underlying order. The supreme goal of physicists is to understand this order through laws that describe the behavior of the most basic particles and the forces between them. For centuries, we have searched for these laws by studying the results of experiments. Since the 1970s, however, experiments at the world's most powerful atomsmashers have offered few new clues. So some of the world's leading physicists have looked to a different source of insight: modern mathematics.


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Elegant, clear, cutting edge.
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Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: Observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria.


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Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire
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 By: Thomas Lin  editor, Sean Carroll  foreword
 Narrated by: Bob Souer
 Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Bringing together the best and most interesting science stories appearing in Quanta Magazine over the past five years, Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire reports on some of the greatest scientific minds as they test the limits of human knowledge. It communicates science by taking it seriously, wrestling with difficult concepts, and clearly explaining them in a way that speaks to our innate curiosity about our world and ourselves.


Broad collection of specific physics applications
 By James S. on 062619

The Universe Speaks in Numbers
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 By: Graham Farmelo
 Narrated by: Hugh Kermode
 Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
One of the great insights of science is that the universe has an underlying order. The supreme goal of physicists is to understand this order through laws that describe the behavior of the most basic particles and the forces between them. For centuries, we have searched for these laws by studying the results of experiments. Since the 1970s, however, experiments at the world's most powerful atomsmashers have offered few new clues. So some of the world's leading physicists have looked to a different source of insight: modern mathematics.


Great story and narration, but lacks rigor...
 By James S. on 053119

The Joy of x
 A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
 By: Steven Strogatz
 Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
 Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
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.


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 Narrated by: Bob Souer
 Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

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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.
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 By: Sean Carroll
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The Best Layperson Book on Quantum Physics
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Publisher's Summary
These stories from Quanta Magazine map the routes of mathematical exploration, showing listeners how cuttingedge research is done, while illuminating the productive tension between conjecture and proof, theory and intuition. Listeners of The Prime Number Conspiracy are headed on "breathtaking intellectual journeys to the bleeding edge of discovery strapped to the narrative rocket of humanity's neverending pursuit of knowledge," says Quanta editorinchief Thomas Lin.
Quanta is the only popular publication that offers indepth coverage of the latest breakthroughs in understanding our mathematical universe. It communicates mathematics by taking it seriously, wrestling with difficult concepts and clearly explaining them in a way that speaks to our innate curiosity about our world and ourselves.
Listeners of this volume will learn that prime numbers have decided preferences about the final digits of the primes that immediately follow them (the "conspiracy" of the title); consider whether math is the universal language of nature (allowing for "a unified theory of randomness"); discover surprising solutions (including a pentagon tiling proof that solves a centuryold math problem); ponder the limits of computation; measure infinity; and explore the eternal question: "Is mathematics good for you?"
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 James S.
 093019
Better [more relevant] than you might expect.
I generally prefer downtoearth, practical narratives when I choose my Audibles. Pure maths usually aren't on my list, particularly when one narrow topic is being advertised. But I had a feeling this Audible would be better than that, after having just finished Quanta's other Audible on topics in Physics, which is now at or near the top of my list of favorite Audibles. (Choose either one to listen to first, they don't overlap.)
I found the theme of this Audible to partly complement Love and Math, by Edward Frenkel, though I had hoped for more connections to be made.
Overall, I think this Audible is very well written, it flows well, it's entertaining, and it's narrated by one of the greatest narrators you could ever hope to have for this sort of topic. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Physics one by Quanta, but probably because I thought that one was phenomenal.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful