Marcus du Sautoy - Author

About the Author

Marcus du Sautoy is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Wadham College. He has been named by the Independent on Sunday as one of the UK's leading scientists, has written extensively for the Guardian, The Times and the Daily Telegraph and has appeared on Radio 4 on numerous occasions. He is the author of 'The Music of the Primes' and has presented 'Mind Games' and 'Music of the Primes' on BBC television. He was the Royal Institution Christmas lecturer in 2006, broadcast on Channel 5, and is filming 'The Story of Maths' for the BBC. In October 2008 he was appointed to Oxford University's prestigious professorship as the Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science, a post previously held by Richard Dawkins. He lives in London with his wife and three children.

Featured books by Marcus du Sautoy

What We Cannot Know

What We Cannot Know

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2016

Where did we come from? What is the ultimate destiny of the universe? What are the building blocks of the physical world? What is consciousness?  Are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? Are some regions of the future beyond the predictive powers of science and mathematics? Is time before the big bang a no go arena? Are there ideas so complex that they are beyond the conception of our finite human brains? Can brains even investigate themselves or does the analysis enter an infinite loop from which it is impossible to rescue itself? Are there true statements that can never be proved true? Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out what we cannot know.

Other books by Marcus du Sautoy

How to Count to Infinity

How to Count to Infinity

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/2017

Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books! Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it... Not falling in love, but counting. Animals and humans have been using numbers to navigate their way through the jungle of life ever since we all evolved on this planet. But this book will help you to do something that humans have only recently understood how to do: to count to regions that no animal has ever reached. By the end of this book you'll be able to count to infinity...and beyond. On our way to infinity we'll discover how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the 7th century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life. But for millennia contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the nineteenth century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed that it is a number that we can count. Not only that. They found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others. Just using the finite neurons in your brain and the finite pages in this book, you'll have your mind blown discovering the secret of how to count to infinity.

What We Cannot Know From Consciousness to the Cosmos, the Cutting Edge of Science Explained

What We Cannot Know From Consciousness to the Cosmos, the Cutting Edge of Science Explained

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/05/2017

`Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting' Bill Bryson Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Is the universe infinite? Do we know what happened before the Big Bang? Where is human consciousness located in the brain? And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson? In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data. Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding? In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.

Great Unknown

Great Unknown

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: eBook Release Date: 11/04/2017

';An engaging voyage into some of the great mysteries and wonders of our world."e;--Alan Lightman, author ofEinstein's DreamandThe Accidental Universe ';No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting.' Bill BrysonBrain Pickings and Kirkus Best Science Book of the YearEvery week seems to throw up a new discovery, shaking the foundations of what we know. But are there questions we will never be able to answermysteries that lie beyond the predictive powers of science? In this captivating exploration of our most tantalizing unknowns, Marcus du Sautoy invites us to consider the problems in cosmology, quantum physics, mathematics, and neuroscience that continue to bedevil scientists and creative thinkers who are at the forefront of their fields. At once exhilarating, mind-bending, and compulsively readable, The Great Unknown challenges us to consider big questionsabout the nature of consciousness, what came before the big bang, and what lies beyond our horizonswhile taking us on a virtuoso tour of the great breakthroughs of the past and celebrating the men and women who dared to tackle the seemingly impossible and had the imagination to come up with new ways of seeing the world.

What We Cannot Know

What We Cannot Know

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2016

Where did we come from? What is the ultimate destiny of the universe? What are the building blocks of the physical world? What is consciousness?  Are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? Are some regions of the future beyond the predictive powers of science and mathematics? Is time before the big bang a no go arena? Are there ideas so complex that they are beyond the conception of our finite human brains? Can brains even investigate themselves or does the analysis enter an infinite loop from which it is impossible to rescue itself? Are there true statements that can never be proved true? Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out what we cannot know.

What We Cannot Know Explorations at the Edge of Knowledge

What We Cannot Know Explorations at the Edge of Knowledge

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/05/2016

Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know.Is the universe infinite?Do we know what happened before the Big Bang?Where is human consciousness located in the brain?And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson?In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe?In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data.Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding?In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.

What We Cannot Know

What We Cannot Know

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: eBook Release Date: 19/05/2016

Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Is the universe infinite?Do we know what happened before the Big Bang?Where is human consciousness located in the brain?And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson?In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe?In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data. Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding?In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.

What We Cannot Know Explorations at the Edge of Knowledge

What We Cannot Know Explorations at the Edge of Knowledge

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/05/2016

Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Is the universe infinite? Do we know what happened before the Big Bang? Where is human consciousness located in the brain? And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson? In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data. Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding? In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.

The Number Mysteries A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life

The Number Mysteries A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2011

From the author of `The Music of the Primes' and `Finding Moonshine' comes a short, lively book on five mathematical problems that just refuse be solved - and on how many everyday problems can be solved by maths. Every time we download a song from Itunes, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our mobile phones, we are relying on great mathematical inventions. Maths may fail to provide answers to various of its own problems, but it can provide answers to problems that don't seem to be its own - how prime numbers are the key to Real Madrid's success, to secrets on the Internet and to the survival of insects in the forests of North America. In `The Number Mysteries', Marcus du Sautoy explains how to fake a Jackson Pollock; how to work out whether or not the universe has a hole in the middle of it; how to make the world's roundest football. He shows us how to see shapes in four dimensions - and how maths makes you a better gambler. He tells us about the quest to predict the future - from the flight of asteroids to an impending storm, from bending a ball like Beckham to predicting population growth. It's a book to dip in to; a book to challenge and puzzle - and a book that gives us answers.

Finding Moonshine A Mathematician's Journey Through Symmetry

Finding Moonshine A Mathematician's Journey Through Symmetry

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/05/2009

This new book from the author of 'The Music of the Primes' combines a personal insight into the mind of a working mathematician with the story of one of the biggest adventures in mathematics: the search for symmetry. This is the story of how humankind has come to its understanding of the bizarre world of symmetry - a subject of fundamental significance to the way we interpret the world around us. Our eyes and minds are drawn to symmetrical objects, from the sphere to the swastika, the pyramid to the pentagon. Symmetry indicates a dynamic relationship or connection between objects, and it is all-pervasive: in chemistry and physics the concept of symmetry explains the structure of crystals or the theory of fundamental particles; in evolutionary biology, the natural world exploits symmetry in the fight for survival; symmetry and the breaking of symmetry are central to ideas in art, architecture and music; the mathematics of symmetry is even exploited in industry, for example to find efficient ways to store more music on a CD or to keep your mobile phone conversation from cracking up through interference. Marcus du Sautoy constantly strives to push his own boundaries to find ways in which to share the excitement of mathematics with a broader audience; this book charts his own personal quest to master one of the most innate and intangible concepts, and to demonstrate the intricacy and beauty of the world around us.

Zeta Functions of Groups and Rings

Zeta Functions of Groups and Rings

Author: Marcus du Sautoy, Luke Woodward Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/11/2007

Zeta functions have been a powerful tool in mathematics over the last two centuries. This book considers a new class of non-commutative zeta functions which encode the structure of the subgroup lattice in infinite groups. It explores the analytic behavior of these functions together with an investigation of functional equations. The book examines many important examples of zeta functions, providing an important database of explicit examples and methods for calculation.

The Music of the Primes Why an Unsolved Problem in Mathematics Matters

The Music of the Primes Why an Unsolved Problem in Mathematics Matters

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2004

The paperback of the critically-acclaimed popular science book by a writer who is fast becoming a celebrity mathematician. Prime numbers are the very atoms of arithmetic. They also embody one of the most tantalising enigmas in the pursuit of human knowledge. How can one predict when the next prime number will occur? Is there a formula which could generate primes? These apparently simple questions have confounded mathematicians ever since the Ancient Greeks. In 1859, the brilliant German mathematician Bernard Riemann put forward an idea which finally seemed to reveal a magical harmony at work in the numerical landscape. The promise that these eternal, unchanging numbers would finally reveal their secret thrilled mathematicians around the world. Yet Riemann, a hypochondriac and a troubled perfectionist, never publicly provided a proof for his hypothesis and his housekeeper burnt all his personal papers on his death. Whoever cracks Riemann's hypothesis will go down in history, for it has implications far beyond mathematics. In business, it is the lynchpin for security and e-commerce. In science, it has critical ramifications in Quantum Mechanics, Chaos Theory, and the future of computing. Pioneers in each of these fields are racing to crack the code and a prize of $1 million has been offered to the winner. As yet, it remains unsolved. In this breathtaking book, mathematician Marcus du Sautoy tells the story of the eccentric and brilliant men who have struggled to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science. It is a story of strange journeys, last-minute escapes from death and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Above all, it is a moving and awe-inspiring evocation of the mathematician's world and the beauties and mysteries it contains.

Brief History of Mathematics, A

Brief History of Mathematics, A

Author: Marcus du Sautoy Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/1970

This ten-part history of mathematics reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Professor Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science. He explores the relationship between Newton and Leibniz, the men behind the calculus; looks at how the mathematics that Euler invented 200 years ago paved the way for the internet and discovers how Fourier transformed our understanding of heat, light and sound. In addition, he finds out how Galois' mathematics describes the particles that make up our universe, how Gaussian distribution underpins modern medicine, and how Riemann's maths helped Einstein with his theory of relativity. Finally, he introduces Cantor, who discovered infinite numbers; Poincar whose work gave rise to chaos theory; G.H. Hardy, whose work inspired the millions of codes that help to keep the internet safe, and Nicolas Bourbaki, the mathematician who never was. The BBC Radio 4 series looking at the people who shaped modern mathematics, written and presented by Marcus du Sautoy.

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