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Both recalling his life story and recounting many of the major advances in twentieth-century science, a renowned physicist shares his autobiography through letters. While recognizing that quantum mechanics “demands serious attention,” Albert Einstein in 1926 admonished fellow physicist Max Born that the theory “does not bring us closer to the secrets of the Old One.” Aware that “there are deep mysteries that Nature intends to keep for... more...

In this sequel to The Scientist as Rebel (2006), Freeman Dyson—whom The Times of London calls “one of the world’s most original minds”—celebrates openness to unconventional ideas and “the spirit of joyful dreaming” in which he believes that science should be pursued. Throughout these essays, which range from the creation of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century to the scientific inquiries of the Romantic generation... more...

Renowned physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson is famous for his work in quantum mechanics, nuclear weapons policy and bold visions for the future of humanity. In the 1940s, he was responsible for demonstrating the equivalence of the two formulations of quantum electrodynamics Richard Feynman's diagrammatic path integral formulation and the variational methods developed by Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonoga showing the mathematical consistency... more...

This anthology brings together the year's finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2011 makes available to a wide audience many articles not easily found anywhere else--and you don't need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These writings offer surprising insights into the nature, meaning, and practice of... more...

Imagine a world where whole epochs will pass, cultures rise and fall, between a telephone call and the reply. Think of the human race multiplying 500-million fold, or evolving new, distinct species. Consider the technology of space colonization, computer-assisted reproduction, the "Martian potato." One hundred years after H. G. Wells visited the future in The Time Machine, Freeman Dyson marshals his uncommon gifts as a scientist and... more...

Among the myriad of constants that appear in mathematics, p, e, and i are the most familiar. Following closely behind is g, or gamma, a constant that arises in many mathematical areas yet maintains a profound sense of mystery.In a tantalizing blend of history and mathematics, Julian Havil takes the reader on a journey through logarithms and the harmonic series, the two defining elements of gamma, toward the first account of gamma's place in... more...