Celestial Tapestry places mathematics within a vibrant cultural and historical context, weaving together threads that involve many intriguing characters: the seriously injured soldier who laid the foundations for fractals and computer art; the Scottish necromancer, dedicatee of the most important medieval mathematics book; the mathematician imprisoned for bigamy whose books had a huge influence on twentieth century art; the pioneer clockmaker who suffered from leprosy and never recovered from a lightning strike on his bedchamber; the Victorian housewife who amazed mathematicians with her intuition for higher-dimensional space.
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
27 November 2020
Contents 0: A Magic Carpet Ride The Fabric of Space, Time and Matter 1: Into the Labyrinth 2: Earth, Air, Fire and Water 3: The Elements 4: The Wheel of Fortune 5: The End of the World is Nigh! 6: Interstellar Overdrive Weaving Numbers and Patterns 7: Burning Down the House 8: Rampant Rabbits 9: There's Magic in the Air 10: Doctor Illuminatus 11: The Book of Changes Drawing out the Golden Threads 12: The Vanishing Point 13: The Golden Number 14: Optical Skullduggery 15: The Perils of Parallels! Higher Space and a Deeper Reality 16: The Laws of Thought 17: Free Love in Many Dimensions 18: Into the Fourth Dimension 19: The Bride Stripped Bare 20: Aunt Alice in Wonderland Wandering Round the Knot Garden 21: Let's Do the Twist 22: The Gordian Knot 23: All for One and One for All Casting the Celestial Net 24: Painting By Numbers 25: The Flat Earth Society 26: Mapping the Cosmos Answers to Puzzles Further Reading Quotation Sources Illustration Credits Index
Nicholas Mee studied theoretical physics and mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where he gained his PhD in particle physics. He has authored numerous multimedia titles including The Code Book on CD-ROM with Simon Singh and Connections in Space with John Barrow, Martin Kemp and Richard Bright. He has played key roles in several significant science and art projects including the European SCIENAR project and the 2012 Henry Moore and Stringed Surfaces exhibition at the Royal Society. He is author of the award-winning popular science books Higgs Force: Cosmic Symmetry Shattered and Gravity: Cracking the Cosmic Code, as well as The Cosmic Mystery Tour, published by Oxford University Press in 2019.
Reviews for Celestial Tapestry: The Warp and Weft of Art and Mathematics
Nicholas Mee skilfully weaves together art, science, history and myth to show us the intricate and enchanting patterns that the universe provides and that we as humans discover and celebrate. An engrossing and highly readable tour through both time and space. * Ross King, author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling * In his Celestial Tapestry, Nicholas Mee has woven for us a richly illustrated warp and weft of mathematical ideas, displayed in a rich variety of pictorial forms. He also loves storytelling - the tapestry takes centuries to take shape, though the retelling of it is at a veritable whirlwind of a pace. Symmetry, combinatorics, spirals, labyrinths and the construction of the cosmos all appear in their ancient, Islamic and western episodes. * Professor Tom McLeish, University of York * Celestial Tapestry is an invaluable overview of what we know about art and science, and the myriad great minds throughout history that wove our knowledge. Dr. Mee's strength is bringing the people of the past alive, and the history of art and science is brilliantly condensed here into a book that summarises the last two thousand years of human development. * Mark Sheeky, The Barracks Trust Award Winner *