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Mario Livio

Is God a Mathematician?

Astrophysicist Mario Livio works on data from the Hubble space telescope. He has authored several successful works on astrophysics and mathematics.
The great mystery of mathematics is its astonishing harmony with the world we live in. Not only do mathematics describe physical phenomena and anticipate them with incredible precision, but with statistical analysis, mathematics manages to simulate the most "human" behaviour patterns imaginable.

From Pythagoras to Euclid and Descartes, from Newton to Einstein, every mathematician has at some point asked himself the same question. First in the form of "Mathematician as God", which still prevailed at the time of George Boole, the father of mathematical logic; then as "Homo Mathematicus", shaped by evolution and understanding fundamental truths using increasingly sophisticated mathematical tools.

This is the story, full of fascinating twists, that Mario Livio tells. Surprising examples reveal that, far from being an arcane activity restricted to a happy few, the study of mathematics springs from a philosophical approach that is accessible to all.