‘The Universe Speaks in Numbers’ to be published in May 2019

Graham’s publishers in the UK, Faber, announced last Friday that they will be publishing his next book in early May 2019. Basic Books will publish it a few weeks later in the U.S. and Canada. Graham said: ‘It will be good to see the book in the stores, five years after I conceived it.’

In preparation for writing the book, Graham talked with some fifty world-class theoretical physicists and pure mathematicians in Europe, the U.S. and Canada. ‘It was fascinating to hear their perspectives on the mathematics-physics relationship. For sure, no two of these experts had the same views. But many of them commented on increasingly close relationship between the search for the fundamental laws of Nature and state-of-the-art pure mathematics.’

Graham also noted that physicists and mathematicians often talked about the relationship between their subjects in ways that closely resembled some of the observations Dirac made in his 1939 lecture on The Relation Between Mathematics and Physics. ‘The far-sightedness of this talk increasingly struck me as remarkable’, Graham says. Only when he was finalising the book did he fully appreciate the point that the great British mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah made to him at the outset of the project: ‘Dirac foresaw the modern development of the relationship between physics and mathematics more clearly than he even he appeared to realise in his final decades.’ As Nima Arkani-Hamed, a leading theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, told Graham: ‘The deep connection between mathematics and the fundamental laws of physics is one of the most astonishing facts about the world, one that has been brought – in modern times – to eerily high relief.’