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  • Published: 15 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241445372
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $55.00

Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them

A Cosmic Quest from Zero to Infinity




A dazzling exploration of the strange and extreme numbers that illuminate the ultimate nature of reality

For particularly brilliant theoretical physicists like James Clerk Maxwell, Paul Dirac or Albert Einstein, the search for mathematical truths - via ever more mind-boggling numbers - led to strange new understandings of reality. But what are these mysterious numbers that explain the universe?

In Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them, leading theoretical physicist and YouTube star Antonio Padilla takes us on an irreverent cosmic tour of nine of the most extraordinary numbers in physics. These include Graham's number, which is so large that if you thought about it in the wrong way, your head would collapse into a singularity; TREE(3), whose finite value could never be reached before the universe reset itself; and 10^{-120}, which measures the desperately unlikely balance of energy the universe needs to exist. . .

Leading us down the rabbit hole to the inner workings of reality, Padilla demonstrates how these unusual numbers are the key to unlocking such mind-bending phenomena as black holes, entropy and the problem of the cosmological constant, which shows that our two best ways of understanding the universe contradict one another. Combining cutting-edge science with an entertaining cosmic quest, Fantastic Numbers and Where to Find Them is an electrifying, head-twisting guide to the most fundamental truths of the universe.

  • Published: 15 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241445372
  • Imprint: Allen Lane
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $55.00

About the author

Antonio Padilla

Tony Padilla is a leading theoretical physicist and cosmologist at the University of Nottingham. In 2016, he and his team shared the Buchalter Cosmology Prize for their work on the cosmological constant. He is also a star of the Numberphile YouTube network, where his most popular videos include a discussion of Ramanujan's sum of all positive integers, which has been viewed more than eight million times.

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