The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook: A History of the Renaissance Mathematics That Birthed Imaginary Numbers, Probability, and the New Physics of the Un


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6.1 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Michael Brooks is a science writer with a PhD in quantum physics, and the author of several books, including the bestselling 13 Things That Don't Make Sense and The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook, a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year.


"The most original non-fiction book I've read in years."
--Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature and Founding Gardeners

"A near-novelistic account that's part quantum science, part biography, and part history, this story of 16th-century polymath Jerome Cardano delivers enjoyment on every level...The author breathes life into the intrigues of the 16th century, from a political crisis point which turns on a king receiving a favorable horoscope, to public math battles in the town square between bitter rivals. Brooks's work offers a bewitching and intimate mix of biography and science." STARRED REVIEW
--Publishers Weekly

"An enthralling biography of the polymath Jerome Cardano, which doubles as a primer on the strangeness of quantum physics...This vivid book offers belated recompense to a gambler who lost more than he won in an eventful and turbulent life."
--The Sunday Times

"This beautifully written book is a kind of experimental scientific biography that mashes up science with what seems to be non-science, the better to explore the boundaries of what we still don't know...a quite superb book."
--The Guardian

"A beautifully novelistic fusion of physics and biography."
--The Daily Telegraph

"This unconventional biography reads like a playful, postmodern novel full of ambition, intrigue, tragedy and an amazing array of scientific discoveries...a risky conceit but Brooks pulls it off magnificently."
--The Sydney Morning Herald

"Jerome Cardano is my all-time favourite mathematical rogue. Michael Brooks has brought him vividly to life in entertaining, informative, and highly original conversations about frontier physics, held across a gulf of centuries. A daring and successful experiment and a new kind of popular science writing."
--Ian Stewart

Praise for At the Edge of Uncertainty

"Brooks highlights numerous areas of research that give pause to many scientists and throw lay readers into confusion in this challenging and mind-bending work. This confusion follows in no part from Brooks's skills as a writer and explicator of science, but from topics that are difficult to face, whether it be the philosophical morass of human/animal tissue combinations called "chimera" or the startling finding that time as we experience it may well be an illusion. Brooks handily works his way through these thorny problems, highlighting current research and researchers along the way." STARRED REVIEW
--Publishers Weekly

"The book can leave your brain feeling "battered and bruised," Brooks writes. But he hopes that you, like the ever-questing scientists he applauds, will want to know more."
--Washington Post

"Brooks details research being conducted on the extreme frontiers of this absorbing piece of reportage...scintillating...the edgy edge of scientific investigation presented with verve."

Praise for 13 Things That Don't Make Sense:

"This elegantly written, meticulously researched and thought-provoking book provides a window into how science actually works, and is sure to spur intense debate."
--New Scientist

"You will be amazed and astonished you when you learn that science has been unable to come up with a working definition of life, why death should happen at all, why sex is necessary, or whether cold fusion is a hoax or one of the greatest breakthroughs of all time."
--Richard Ellis, author of The Empty Ocean and Tuna: A Love Story

"A boundless enthusiasm resounds through this homage to the outstanding problems of science."
--Seed Magazine

"Fascinating...Brooks expertly works his way through...hotly debated quandaries in a smooth, engaging writing style reminiscent of Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould."
--Anahad O'Connor, author of Never Shower in a Thunderstorm

Praise for Free Radicals:

"An exuberant tour through the world of scientists behaving badly."
--The New York Times

"Fascinating...Free Radicals reminds readers that scientific advances sometimes require creativity and vision."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Free Radicals illuminates the role of the irrational in science, the mistakes that make scientists human, and reveals that breakthroughs that change our lives in the most fundamental ways may have the most serendipitous origins."
--Brain Pickings