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› Find signed collectible books: 'Big Bang'
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Big Bang: The Most Important Scientific Discovery of All Time and Why You Need to Know About it'
A baffling array of science books claim to reveal how the mysteries of the universe have been discovered, but Simon Singh's Big Bang actually delivers on that promise. General readers will find it to be among the very best books dealing with cosmology, because Singh follows the same plan he used in his brilliant Code Book: he puts people--not equations--first in the story. By linking the progression of the Big Bang theory with the scientists who built it up bit by bit, Singh also uncovers an important truth about how such ideas grow.
Death is an essential element in the progress of science, since it takes care of conservative scientists of a previous generation reluctant to let go of an old, fallacious theory and embrace a new and accurate one.As harsh as this statement seems, even Einstein defended an outmoded idea about the universe when an unknown interloper published equations challenging the great man. Einstein didn't have to die for cosmology to move forward (he reluctantly apologized for being wrong), but stories like this one show how difficult it can sometimes be for new theories to take root. Fred Hoyle, who coined the term "big bang" as a way to ridicule the idea of a universe expanding from some tiny origin point, strongly believed that the cosmos was in a steady state. But Singh shows how Hoyle's research, meant to prove the contrary, added evidence to the expansion model. Big Bang is also a history of astronomical observation, describing the development of new telescopes that were crucial to the development of cosmology. Handwritten summary notes at the end of each long chapter add a charming, classroom feel to this revealing and very readable book. --Therese Littleton
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe (P.S.)'
A baffling array of science books claim to reveal how the mysteries of the universe have been discovered, but Simon Singh's Big Bang actually delivers on that promise. General readers will find it to be among the very best books dealing with cosmology, because Singh follows the same plan he used in his brilliant Code Book: he puts people--not equations--first in the story. By linking the progression of the Big Bang theory with the scientists who built it up bit by bit, Singh also uncovers an important truth about how such ideas grow.
Death is an essential element in the progress of science, since it takes care of conservative scientists of a previous generation reluctant to let go of an old, fallacious theory and embrace a new and accurate one.As harsh as this statement seems, even Einstein defended an outmoded idea about the universe when an unknown interloper published equations challenging the great man. Einstein didn't have to die for cosmology to move forward (he reluctantly apologized for being wrong), but stories like this one show how difficult it can sometimes be for new theories to take root. Fred Hoyle, who coined the term "big bang" as a way to ridicule the idea of a universe expanding from some tiny origin point, strongly believed that the cosmos was in a steady state. But Singh shows how Hoyle's research, meant to prove the contrary, added evidence to the expansion model. Big Bang is also a history of astronomical observation, describing the development of new telescopes that were crucial to the development of cosmology. Handwritten summary notes at the end of each long chapter add a charming, classroom feel to this revealing and very readable book. --Therese Littleton
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Code Book for Young People: How to Make It, Break It, Hack It, Crack It'
Calling upon accounts of political intrigue and tales of life and death, author Simon Singh tells history's most fascinating story of deception and cunning: the science of cryptography--the encoding and decoding of private information. Based on The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography, this version has been abridged and slightly simplified for a younger audience. None of the appeal for curious problem-solving minds has been lost, though. From Julius Caesar to the 10th-century Arabs; from Mary Queen of Scots to "Alice and Bob"; from the Germans' Enigma machine to the Navajo code talkers in World War II, Singh traces the use of code to protect--and betray--secrecy. Moving right into the present, he describes how the Information Age has provided a whole new set of challenges for cryptographers. How private are your e-mail communications? How secure is sending your credit card information over the Internet? And how much secrecy will the government tolerate? Complex but highly accessible, The Code Book will make readers see the past--and the future--in a whole new light. (Ages 14 and older)
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Code Book: How to Make It, Break It, Hack It, Crack It'
Calling upon accounts of political intrigue and tales of life and death, author Simon Singh tells history's most fascinating story of deception and cunning: the science of cryptography--the encoding and decoding of private information. Based on The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography, this version has been abridged and slightly simplified for a younger audience. None of the appeal for curious problem-solving minds has been lost, though. From Julius Caesar to the 10th-century Arabs; from Mary Queen of Scots to "Alice and Bob"; from the Germans' Enigma machine to the Navajo code talkers in World War II, Singh traces the use of code to protect--and betray--secrecy. Moving right into the present, he describes how the Information Age has provided a whole new set of challenges for cryptographers. How private are your e-mail communications? How secure is sending your credit card information over the Internet? And how much secrecy will the government tolerate? Complex but highly accessible, The Code Book will make readers see the past--and the future--in a whole new light. (Ages 14 and older)
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary, Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography'
Codes have decided the fates of empires, countries, and monarchies throughout recorded history. Mary, Queen of Scots was put to death by her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, for the high crime of treason after spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham cracked the secret code she used to communicate with her conspirators. And thus the course of British history was altered by a few sheets of cryptic prose. This is just one link in humankind's evolutionary chain of secret communication, and just one of the fascinating incidents recounted in The Code Book, written by bestselling author Simon Singh.
Combining a superb storyteller's sense of drama and a scientist's appreciation for technical perfection, Singh traces the evolution of secret writing from ancient Greek military espionage to the frontiers of computer science. The result is an epic tale of human ingenuity, with examples that range from the poignant to the peculiar to the world-historical.
There is the case of the Beale ciphers, which involves Wild West escapades, a cowboy who amassed a vast fortune, a buried treasure worth $20 million, and a mysterious set of encrypted papers describing its whereabouts--papers that have baffled generations of cryptanalysts and captivated hundreds of treasure hunters.
A speedier end to a bloody war was the only reward that could be promised to the Allied code breakers of World Wars I and II, whose selfless contributions altered the course of history; but few of them lived to receive any credit for their top-secret accomplishments. Among the most moving of these stories is that of the World War II British code breaker Alan Turing, who gave up a brilliant career in mathematics to devote himself to the Allied cause, only to end his years punished by the state for his homosexuality, while his heroism was ignored. No less heroic were the Navajo code talkers, who volunteered without hesitation to risk their lives for the Allied forces in the Japanese theater, where they were routinely mistaken for the enemy.
Interspersed with these gripping stories are clear mathematical, linguistic, and technological demonstrations of codes, as well as illustrations of the remarkable personalities--many courageous, some villainous, and all obsessive--who wrote and broke them.
All roads lead to the present day, in which the possibility of a truly unbreakable code looms large. Singh explores this possibility, and the ramifications of our increasing need for privacy, even as it begins to chafe against the stated mission of the powerful and deeply secretive National Security Agency. Entertaining, compelling, and remarkably far-reaching, this is a book that will forever alter your view of history, what drives it, and how private that e-mail you just sent really is.
Included in the book is a worldwide Cipher Challenge--a $15,000 award will be given by the author to the first reader who cracks the code successfully. Progress toward the solution will be tracked on The Code Book website.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography'
People love secrets. Ever since the first word was written, humans have sent coded messages to each other. In The Code Book, Simon Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, offers a peek into the world of cryptography and codes, from ancient texts through computer encryption. Singh's compelling history is woven through with stories of how codes and ciphers have played a vital role in warfare, politics, and royal intrigue. The major theme of The Code Book is what Singh calls "the ongoing evolutionary battle between codemakers and codebreakers," never more clear than in the chapters devoted to World War II. Cryptography came of age during that conflict, as secret communications became critical to both sides' success.
Confronted with the prospect of defeat, the Allied cryptanalysts had worked night and day to penetrate German ciphers. It would appear that fear was the main driving force, and that adversity is one of the foundations of successful codebreaking.
In the information age, the fear that drives cryptographic improvements is both capitalistic and libertarian--corporations need encryption to ensure that their secrets don't fall into the hands of competitors and regulators, and ordinary people need encryption to keep their everyday communications private in a free society. Similarly, the battles for greater decryption power come from said competitors and governments wary of insurrection.
The Code Book is an excellent primer for those wishing to understand how the human need for privacy has manifested itself through cryptography. Singh's accessible style and clear explanations of complex algorithms cut through the arcane mathematical details without oversimplifying. --Therese Littleton
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Code Book, The: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking'
With their inextricable links to history, mystery and war, codes and ciphers offer a rich seam of material for any author. The relative dearth of non-technical books on the subject may be a reflection of its pretty technical foundations, which compel hard decisions about what to include and what to gloss over. Few are better qualified to take on the challenge than Simon Singh, the particle physicist turned science writer whose book Fermat's Last Theorem, recounting the dauntingly complex story behind the proof of this mathematical conjecture, deservedly became a No. 1 bestseller.
The Code Book contains many fascinating accounts of code-breaking in action, from its use in unmasking the Man in the Iron Mask and the defeat of the Nazis to the breaking of a modern cipher system by a world-wide army of amateurs in 1994. It is especially good on the most recent developments, such as quantum cryptology and the thorny civil liberties issues raised by the advent of very secure cipher systems over the Internet. But Singh's mathematical prowess sometimes gets the better of his journalistic instincts, leading to technical descriptions that unnecessarily disrupt the narrative flow. So buy it-- and have a shot at the 10,000 pound mystery cipher--but be prepared to skip. --Robert Matthews
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Cracking Code Book'
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem'
When Andrew Wiles of Princeton University announced a solution of Fermat's last theorem in 1993 it electrified the world of mathematics. After a flaw was discovered in the proof, Wiles had to work for another year--he had already labored in solitude for seven years--to establish that he had solved the 350-year-old problem. Simon Singh's book is a lively, comprehensible explanation of Wiles's work and of the star-, trauma-, and wacko-studded history of Fermat's last theorem. Fermat's Enigma contains some problems that offer a taste for the math, but it also includes limericks to give a feeling for the goofy side of mathematicians.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Fermat's Enigma (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)'
When Cambridge mathematician Andrew Wiles announced a solution for Fermat's last theorem in 1993, it electrified the world of mathematics. After a flaw was discovered in the proof, Wiles had to work for another year--he had already laboured in solitude for seven years--to establish that he had solved the 350-year-old problem. Simon Singh's book is a lively, comprehensible explanation of Wiles's work and of the colourful history that has build up around Fermat's last theorem over the years. The book contains some problems that offer a taste for the maths, but it also includes limericks to give a feeling for the quirkier side of mathematicians.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Fermat's Last Theorem'
In 1963, a schoolboy browsing in his local library stumbled across a great mathematical problem: Fermat's Last Theorem, a puzzle that every child can now understand, but which has baffled mathematicians for over 300 years. Aged just ten, Andrew Wiles dreamed he would crack it. Many people had tried before Wiles and failed, including an 18th-century philanderer who was killed in a duel. An 18th-century Frenchwoman made a major breakthrough in solving the riddle, but she had to attend maths lectures at the Ecole Polytechnique disguised as a man. This is the story of the puzzle that has confounded mathematicians since the 17th century. The solution of the Theorem is one of the most important mathematical developments of the 20th century.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Science Book'
The Science Book is a big, handsome, lavishly illustrated coffee-table book. In 250 brief sections, it attempts to encapsulate the history of Western science, from astronomy and physics to geology, biology and psychology and everything in between. It's a huge undertaking, even a potentially foolhardy one, as the editor Peter Tallack acknowledges, but the choice of topics has been carefully made, and as an introduction to the breadth of scientific endeavour it succeeds well. The writing itself is straightforward, giving very brief biographies of scientists from Pythagoras to Stephen Hawking alongside the broad outlines of their work. Each one-page essay is accompanied by a full-colour illustration, ranging from Renaissance paintings to the latest images from space. Cross-references to other pages help to establish links between different discoveries. There is an index, but sadly no suggestions for further reading for anybody whose curiosity has been piqued. And piqued it almost certainly will be. Inevitably in a book of this scope, nothing is covered in any depth. It does, however, give a good overview of how science is done, how different disciplines interrelate and where the cutting edge is right now. And its presence on the coffee table will no doubt spark all kinds of discussions as guests leaf through its pages. --Elizabeth Sourbut
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Science of Secrecy: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking'
Secret codes are perennially, and universally, fascinating. Remember using lemon-juice to write invisible messages? What about the thrill of inventing your own private language? Something in the idea of occult information appeals to the 007 that lurks in every psyche.
Author and TV producer Simon Singh has now taken this symptomatically human trait and turned it into a TV series tied in to this entertaining book. In form, the first half of The Science of Secrecy is a zippy history of codes and ciphers (Spartan stick-ciphers, Roman shift-ciphers, a whole tradition of Muslim cipherologists), married to a closer analysis of notable code crackings of the past. Singh ably tells the fascinating tale of how the encoded assassination plans of Mary Queen of Scots were decrypted by Queen Elizabeth's embryonic MI5.
The second half concentrates on 20th-century code cracking. To judge by Singh, the Brits won both the Great War and the Second World War because of expert code busting. In 1914-18 it was by deciphering an incriminating German telegram, which brought America militarily onside; in 1939-45 it was by employing the most brilliant of crypto-boffins at Bletchley Park, who, via the Colossus decryption computer, ensured the Allies were always able to second guess the Nazi war machine.
The final section of the book, which describes attempts to encrypt--and decrypt--the Web, underlines why codes are of crucial topicality. Should vital material on the Net be encoded, or does that infringe free exchange of information, the very essence of cyberspace? Singh offers a readable, lucid and well informed take on this, much as he tackles every other subject in his diverting and illuminating book. --Sean Thomas
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets'
You may have watched hundreds of episodes of The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama) without ever realizing that cleverly embedded in many plots are subtle references to mathematics, ranging from well-known equations to cutting-edge theorems and conjectures. That they exist, Simon Singh reveals, underscores the brilliance of the shows writers, many of whom have advanced degrees in mathematics in addition to their unparalleled sense of humor.
While recounting memorable episodes such as Bart the Genius and Homer3, Singh weaves in mathematical stories that explore everything from p to Mersenne primes, Eulers equation to the unsolved riddle of P v. NP; from perfect numbers to narcissistic numbers, infinity to even bigger infinities, and much more. Along the way, Singh meets members of The Simpsons brilliant writing teamamong them David X. Cohen, Al Jean, Jeff Westbrook, and Mike Reisswhose love of arcane mathematics becomes clear as they reveal the stories behind the episodes.
With wit and clarity, displaying a true fans zeal, and replete with images from the shows, photographs of the writers, and diagrams and proofs, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets offers an entirely new insight into the most successful show in television history.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine'
Trick or Treatment In this groundbreaking analysis, more than 30 of the most popular alternative healing treatments--acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic, and herbal medicines--are examined for their benefits and potential dangers. 16 illustrations. Full description
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Trick or Treatment?: Alternative Medicine on Trial'
A guide to what works and what doesnt
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Le Dernier Théorème de Fermat (French Edition)'
334 pages
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Histoire Des Codes Secrets (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)'
Book by Singh, Simon
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Histoire des codes secrets. De l'Égypte des pharaons à l'ordinateur quantique'
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Le roman du Big Bang: La plus importante découverte scientifique de tous les temps'
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› Find signed collectible books: 'The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes & Code-Breaking'
A very interesting book, especially for those with a mathematical bent.
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Fermats letzter Satz.'
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› Find signed collectible books: 'Geheime Botschaften.'
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