
The Universe Speaks in Numbers
 How Modern Math Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets
 Narrated by: Hugh Kermode
 Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
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Publisher's Summary
"These are brilliant successes of the mathematical approach, and Farmelo leads us through them adeptly, with a mixture of contemporary accounts and scientific insight." (Nature)
How math helps us solve the universe's deepest mysteries
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. These physicists are sometimes accused of doing "fairytale physics", unrelated to the real world. But in The Universe Speaks in Numbers, awardwinning science writer and biographer Farmelo argues that the physics they are doing is based squarely on the wellestablished principles of quantum theory and relativity, and part of a tradition dating back to Isaac Newton.
With unprecedented access to some of the world's greatest scientific minds, Farmelo offers a vivid, behindthescenes account of the blossoming relationship between mathematics and physics and the research that could revolutionize our understanding of reality.
A masterful account of the some of the most groundbreaking ideas in physics in the past four decades, The Universe Speaks in Numbers is essential listening for anyone interested in the quest to discover the fundamental laws of nature.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
Critic Reviews
"Mathematics here becomes a brilliant laser beam illuminating the very frontiers of science!" (Booklist, starred)
"A thoughtprovoking look at a fierce, ongoing controversy over the future of theoretical physics." (Kirkus)
"A riveting account of one of the greatest stories of our time. Graham Farmelo has delved deep into this fascinating subject, combining original scholarship and lively interviews with leading contemporary theorists at the forefront of the field. The result is a masterful book, which gives us, for the first time, a behindthescenes look at how physicists and mathematicians, driven by their pursuit of ultimate Truth, have been drawn into common territory by mysterious intellectual forces seemingly beyond their control." (Nima ArkaniHamed, professor, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton)
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What listeners say about The Universe Speaks in Numbers
Average Customer RatingsReviews  Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Overall

Performance

Story
 James S.
 053119
Great story and narration, but lacks rigor...
This book's storyline is cohesive, interesting, and informative, and the audiobook is narrated impeccably; I think I probably finished it in "one sitting"  deeply enthralled. But I didn't give it perfect marks because I was really hoping for a lot more depth than what it offered, particularly given its advertised description and the strong endorsements from Nima ArkaniHamed and Nature Publishing  both of which implied enough rigor to make the concepts pop, which they didn't.
If you're looking for a more indepth treatment of mathematical physics, something mainly focused on an overarching area of study that is much more mathematical in nature called the Langlands program, which Farmelo only mentions in passing, check out "Love and Math" by Edward Frenkel.
For an applestoapples comparison, though, I still prefer Brian Greene's old faithful "The Elegant Universe" (EU); Greene's explanations are unbeatable regarding String Theory and its relevant  though dated  developments. Greene at least explains what is meant by "dual spaces", while Farmelo only uses them as elements of the story. Greene's followup to EU, "The Fabric of the Cosmos", is even better than EU, but it's focus is more cosmological and doesn't make for a good applestoapples comparison.
In summary, Farmelo puts together the big picture very well, but his explanations lack the necessary depth to make the relevant concepts come to life for those of us who could possibly understand the mathphysics between the lines, if given the right verbal clues.
67 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

Story
 Cori Steinberg
 041020
One big eye roll.
Informative, yes. However, its mostly just an egocentric butt kiss to all the "worthy" and "selected" members in the fields of physics and math. The story that isnt intentional told is that success is achieved through selection. By being in a situation to prosper they did, if Male. They embodied the projected image elite individuals bestowed upon them. Particularly gifted not so much.
15 people found this helpful

Overall

Performance

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 Stephen
 092019
Excellent book!
I’ve listened to several books on the developments within theoretical physics and this book provides a fresh prospective. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
14 people found this helpful

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 Sarah Garland
 103120
Don't know what I expected, but it was good.
I added this audiobook to my collection during a 2 for 1 sale on audible because it seemed Interesting. My background is in Linguistics so I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this book. A nice historical overview of physics and mathematics and how/where they overlap. I didn't struggle to complete it.
6 people found this helpful

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 Peter Homme
 090120
Good read
I really enjoyed it and the time flew. I know that it's a book, but I would have enjoyed it as a series of lectures, highlighting key ideas. The pace was just right and the readers' enthusiasm for the subject was infectious.
5 people found this helpful

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 James Litsios
 030820
A great book to get a big view of modern physics
The perishable nature of theories in physics use to upset me. This book helps me accept that the difference between math and physics is that one is for ever, and the other not, and that is ok!
4 people found this helpful

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 Howard S
 110920
Wonderful insightful and illuminating
This book opened a window to a realm that is at once incomprehensible and elegant in its simplicity/complexity and symmetry/strangeness. Well done!
2 people found this helpful

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 AZ
 051721
End of physics as we know it
A good history of how mathematics are used in physics throughout the history. Good flow.
1 person found this helpful

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 Amazon Customer
 050122
Excellent Premise
The theme is weakened by the emphasis on The Institute for Advanced Study and the use of the first person. I agree that there is a deeper connection between the cosmos and mathematics that the author implies. Though I would have hoped for greater diversity than primarily what occurred in Princeton beyond the 1950s. A wonderful institute, though it cannot be the only center of progress in this area.

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 Bradley Myrick
 030922
wonderfully narrated
excellent narration is the star here. "story" doesn't reveal anything shocking about the history of mathematics in physics, but overall an interesting listen