Secrets of Creation is a 3 volume series that uses an innovative visual approach to communicate some surprisingly advanced mathematical ideas without any need for formulas or equations. The issue of prime numbers acts as a gateway into some truly strange philosophical territory whose relevance extends well beyond mathematics.
"This is a fantastic book. A fabulous book. A splendiferous book! It's easy enough to say what the book is about: it explains some extremely fascinating properties of the distribution of prime numbers. But that doesn't tell you why it's so great; books about prime numbers are a dime a dozen. First of all, Watkins (with the help of the illustrations, which I'll get to shortly) manages to explain everything extremely clearly, beginning from first principles—and I really mean first principles; he begins with the definition of the natural numbers and goes from there. The only thing that could possibly stand between elementary school students and an appreciation of this book is their reading ability and attention span, NOT their mathematical abilities. But—and here is the truly astounding thing—I, a PhD student who has studied math my whole life, could not put this book down. Not only was I not bored, I learned new things! How is this possible? Partly, it was due to the fresh, creative, insightful way everything is explained, coupled with excellent writing; partly, it was due to the subject, which starts conventionally enough but soon wanders into fascinating territory unfamiliar to many mathematicians (including this one). A book like this, accessible to young children and engaging to adults, is a rare and wonderful accomplishment indeed!
Oh yes, and the illustrations. The illustrations!
I eagerly await Volume II (to be published next year)!" ~ Brent Yorgey
Secrets of Creation, Volume 2 The Enigma of the Spiral Waves
"The first two Secrets of Creation books completely blew me away when I discovered them last year. I read through them in matter of days in a state of disbelief that there existed such an accessible and patient (and cartoon based!) explanation of the Riemann Hypothesis and related matters. It is a monumental achievement." ~ Paul Stepahin, San Francisco Exploratorium
Secrets of Creation, Volume 3 Prime Numbers, Quantum Physics and a Journey to the Centre of Your Mind
"The Secrets of Creation trilogy is one of the most remarkable works of maths popularisation that I have read. Matthew Watkins has a gift for exposition, a gushing passion for his subject and a completely fresh way of approaching basic – and not so basic – mathematical ideas. He has written a brilliantly original work that is both whimsical and cosmically profound. I would recommend it to anyone." ~ Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland
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