Bestselling science writer Michael Brooks takes us on a fascinating journey through the history of civilisation, as he explains why maths is fundamental to our understanding of the world.
1, 2, 3 ? ? The untrained brain isn’t wired for maths; beyond the number 3, it just sees ‘more’. So why bother learning it at all?
You might remember studying geometry, calculus, and algebra at school, but you probably didn’t realise – or weren’t taught – that these are the roots of art, architecture, government, and almost every other aspect of our civilisation. The mathematics of triangles enabled explorers to travel far across the seas and astronomers to map the heavens. Calculus won the Allies the Second World War and halted the HIV epidemic. And imaginary numbers, it turns out, are essential to the realities of twenty-first-century life.
From ancient Egyptian priests to the Apollo astronauts, and Babylonian tax collectors to juggling robots, join Michael Brooks and his extraordinarily eccentric cast of characters in discovering how maths shaped the world around you.