Michael Schneider leads us on a spectacular, lavishly illustrated journey along the numbers one through ten to explore the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, expressed in the symbolic language of folk sayings and fairy tales, myth and religion, art and architecture. This is a new view of mathematics, not the one we learned at school but a comprehensive guide to the patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs.
In the spiral of the nautilus shell, in the veins of a maple leaf, in the bonds of the benzene ring--everywhere he looks, Schneider sees a cosmic geometry. Of course, the lines of this geometry have long attracted the attention of probing minds, including Pythagoras, Plato, the Psalmist, Demetrius, and Plotinus. The author weaves the insights of these thinkers and many more together in a tapestry of reflections (richly illustrated) on celestial harmonies. Once initiated into the ancient mysteries, the reader will recognize profound meanings--not merely scientific utility--in squares, triangles, and other common shapes. The reader needs no extraordinary expertise in mathematics to explore these pages, just a relish for intellectual adventure. Schneider helps us discover just how much mental energy can fit within the circle of new horizons.
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing, the Universe shows you:
• Why cans, pizza, and manhole covers are round.
• Why one and two weren't considered numbers by the ancient Greeks.
• Why squares show up so often in goddess art and board games.
• What property makes the spiral the most widespread shape in nature, from embryos and hair curls to hurricanes and galaxies.
• How the human body shares the design of a bean plant and the solar system.
• How a snowflake is like Stonehenge, and a beehive like a calendar.
• How our ten fingers hold the secrets of both a lobster and a cathedral.
• And much more.
Author: Michael Schneider
Paperback: 351 pages
Publisher: HarperPerennial; 37345th edition (September 29, 1995)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches