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It Must Be Beautiful


First published in the early spring of 2002, this collection of essays quickly became a science best-seller in the UK. Shortly afterwards, the book shot up the charts overnight after an article about the book appeared in the New York Times.
The collection, edited by Graham, features pieces by leading scientists, historians and journalists about some of the great equations of twentieth-century science, including:

Igor Aleksander on Shannon’s equations

Peter Galison on E=mc2

Aisling Irwin on the Molina-Rowland chemical equations

Robert May on the logistic map

Arthur I. Miller on Schrodinger’s equation

Oliver Morton on the Drake equation

Roger Penrose on Einstein’s equations of gravity

John Maynard Smith on equations of evolutionary biology

Steven Weinberg on how great equations survive

Christine Sutton on the Yang-Mills equation

Frank Wilczek on the Dirac equation

Graham contributed a foreword, and an essay on the Planck-Einstein equation of quantum theory.

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Paul Dirac’s equation for the electron was, until recently, the only equation in Westminster Abbey. Another equation, for the temperature of a black hole, appeared nearby in the Abbey in the summer of 2018 – on the gravestone of Stephen Hawking.

Image: Stanislav Kozlovskiy

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