Magical mathematics : the mathematical ideas that animate great magic tricks
- Diaconis, Persi.
- Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2012.
- Physical description
- xii, 244 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
GV1549 .D53 2012
- Unknown GV1549 .D53 2012
- Graham, Ron, 1950-
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Foreword ix Preface xi Chapter 1: Mathematics in the Air 1 Royal Hummer 8 Back to Magic 15 Chapter 2: In Cycles 17 The Magic of de Bruijn Sequences 18 Going Further 25 Chapter 3: Is This Stuff Actually Good For Anything? 30 Robotic Vision 30 Making Codes 34 To the Core of Our Being 38 This de Bruijn Stuff Is Cool but Can It Get You a Job? 42 Chapter 4: Universal Cycles 47 Order Matters 47 A Mind-reading Effect 52 Universal Cycles Again 55 Chapter 5: From the Gilbreath Principle to the Mandelbrot Set 61 The Gilbreath Principle 61 The Mandelbrot Set 72 Chapter 6: Neat Shuffles 84 A Mind-reading Computer 85 A Look Inside Perfect Shuffles 92 A Look Inside Monge and Milk Shuffles 96 A Look Inside Down-and-Under Shuffles 98 All the Shuffles Are Related 99 Chapter 7: The Oldest Mathematical Entertainment? 103 The Miracle Divination 105 How Many Magic Tricks Are There? 114 Chapter 8: Magic in the Book of Changes 119 Introduction to the Book of Changes 121 Using the I Ching for Divination 122 Probability and the Book of Changes 125 Some Magic (Tricks) 127 Probability and the I Ching 136 Chapter 9: What Goes Up Must Come Down 137 Writing It Down 138 Getting Started in Juggling 145 10 Stars of Mathematical Magic (and some of the best tricks in the book) 153 Alex Elmsley 156 Bob Neale 160 Henry Christ 173 Stewart James 181 Charles Thornton Jordan 189 Bob Hummer 201 Martin Gardner 211 Chapter 11: Going further 220 Chapter 12: on secrets 225 Notes 231 Index 239.
- (source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publisher's Summary
- "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.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publication date
- Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham ; with a foreword by Martin Gardner.
- Winner of Mathematical Association of America's Euler Book Prize 2013.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- 9780691151649 (hardback)
- 0691151644 (hardback)