The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook: a history of the Renaissance mathematics that birthed imaginary numbers, probability, and the new physics of the universe (Paperback)Michael Brooks (author)
A Daily Telegraph book of the year.
This is a landmark in science writing that resurrects from the vaults of neglect the polymath Jerome Cardano, a Milanese of the sixteenth century.
Who is he? A gambler and blasphemer, inventor and chancer, plagued by demons and anxieties, astrologer to kings, emperors, and popes, and the unacknowledged discoverer of the mathematical foundations of quantum physics.
The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook, like Jerome, has multiple occupations: it is at once a biography, a history of science, an explanation of quantum theory, and an engrossing story which reads like the best kind of novel. It is a science book like no other about a scientist like no other.
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm
Edition: B format edition
‘Jerome Cardano is my all-time favourite mathematical rogue. Michael Brooks has brought him vividly to life in entertaining, informative, and highly original conversations about frontier physics, held across a gulf of centuries. A daring and successful experiment and a new kind of popular science writing.’
“A near-novelistic account that’s part quantum science, part biography, and part history, this story of 16th-century polymath Jerome Cardano delivers enjoyment on every level … The author breathes life into the intrigues of the 16th century, from a political crisis point which turns on a king receiving a favorable horoscope, to public math battles in the town square between bitter rivals. Brooks’s work offers a bewitching and intimate mix of biography and science.” STARRED REVIEW
‘Michael Brooks is a magician in the old sense — both scientist and artist. He uses both disciplines to create a compelling, fresh look at the quantum world. A fantastic read for students of reality.’
‘Michael Brooks is the canniest science writer around. He writes, above all, with attitude.’
‘Brooks communicates difficult stuff in an amiable and lucid manner.’
‘[Brooks’s] history of [quantum theory] and his sketches of its principals — Einstein, Schrödinger, Bohr — are swift and precise, but he really shines in his lucid discussions of theory and experiment.’
‘4 stars ... Cardano turns out to be an intriguing figure, deserving of Brooks’ obsession ... [they] make for very entertaining and illuminating companions.’
‘An enthralling biography of the polymath Jerome Cardano, which doubles as a primer on the strangeness of quantum physics ... This vivid book offers belated recompense to a gambler who lost more than he won in an eventful and turbulent life.’
‘This beautifully written book is a kind of experimental scientific biography that mashes up science with what seems to be non‑science, the better to explore the boundaries of what we still don’t know … a quite superb book.’
‘A beautifully novelistic fusion of physics and biography.’
‘This unconventional biography reads like a playful, postmodern novel full of ambition, intrigue, tragedy and an amazing array of scientific discoveries … a risky conceit but Brooks pulls it off magnificently.’
‘Brooks is an exemplary science writer. His explanations have the sort of clarity you often yearn for when you read about science, but rarely find.’
‘[A] fascinating and accessible primer on some of the meatiest and most controversial ideas in modern science … Brooks is known for his ability to explain difficult science to non-specialist audiences, and his passionate interest in quantum physics and history animates every page of this engrossing book.’
‘The premise of Michael Brooks’s book linking Cardano and quantum physics is bonkers but curiously effective.’
‘The most original non-fiction book I’ve read in years.’
‘This is one of the best & imaginative non-fiction books I’ve ever read. Hands down. US readers ... I promise. Absolutely fantastic.’
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