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Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas That Animate Great Magic Tricks

Diaconis, Persi and Graham, Ron

Published by Princeton University Press, 2012
ISBN 10: 0691151644 / ISBN 13: 9780691151649
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details


Title: Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas ...

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Publication Date: 2012

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good In Dustjacket

Edition: 1st Edition.

Description:

Princeton. 2012. Princeton University Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. With a foreword by Martin Gardner. 133 color illus. 14 halftones. 56 line illus. 10 tables. 244 pages. hardcover. 9780691151649. keywords: Popular Mathematics Popular Science. inventory # 42033. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Magical Mathematics reveals the secrets of fun-to-perform card tricks—and the profound mathematical ideas behind them—that will astound even the most accomplished magician. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today’s mathematical knowledge. Diaconis and Graham tell the stories—and reveal the best tricks—of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. The book exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic street-gambling scam of three-card Monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the oldest mathematical trick—and much more. Bookseller Inventory # 42033

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Synopsis:


Magical Mathematics reveals the secrets of amazing, fun-to-perform card tricks--and the profound mathematical ideas behind them--that will astound even the most accomplished magician. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today's mathematical knowledge. For example, the Gilbreath Principle--a fantastic effect where the cards remain in control despite being shuffled--is found to share an intimate connection with the Mandelbrot set. Other card tricks link to the mathematical secrets of combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, topology, the Riemann hypothesis, and even Fermat's last theorem.


Diaconis and Graham are mathematicians as well as skilled performers with decades of professional experience between them. In this book they share a wealth of conjuring lore, including some closely guarded secrets of legendary magicians. Magical Mathematics covers the mathematics of juggling and shows how the I Ching connects to the history of probability and magic tricks both old and new. It tells the stories--and reveals the best tricks--of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. Magical Mathematics exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic street-gambling scam of three-card monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the thirteenth century and the oldest mathematical trick--and much more.


From the Inside Flap:

"Finally a book that celebrates the math involved in magic. This is quite simply the most brilliant book ever written on this mind-blowing, highly secretive field."--David Blaine, illusionist


"A remarkably appealing concoction of conjuring, invention, education, science, homage, and memoir--it is like no other book in the long history of magic."--Ricky Jay, author, actor, and one of the world's best sleight-of-hand artists


"A truly stunning exposition by two masters in the field. Diaconis and Graham trace the fascinating relationship between mathematics and magic, which goes back at least eight hundred years. Nothing like this has been published before. Magical Mathematics is a huge contribution both to magic and mathematics."--Colm Mulcahy, author of Card Colm, an online column hosted by the Mathematical Association of America


"Magical Mathematics is a truly magical book, containing ample amounts of mathematics and magic that will amaze and amuse. Diaconis and Graham are both first-rate mathematicians and performers, and offer insights and ideas that could not have been expressed by anyone else. This book is destined to be a classic on the subject."--Arthur Benjamin, coauthor of Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks


"This is a wonderful book, unique and engaging. Diaconis and Graham manage to convey the awe and marvels of mathematics, and of magic tricks, especially those that depend fundamentally on mathematical ideas. They range over many delicious topics, giving us an enchanting personal view of the history and practice of magic, of mathematics, and of the fascinating connection between the two cultures. Magical Mathematics will have an utterly devoted readership."--Barry Mazur, author of Imagining Numbers: (particularly the square root of minus fifteen)


"Magical Mathematics is a wonder to behold. It instantly seduces the reader with goodies new and old, and is just as perfect for long-term study. There are also surprises for those well familiar with the magical realm."--Robert E. Neale, magician


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