Simon Singh

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pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh


Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, V2 rocket, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

Anybody who wants to understand this wonderful achievement will not do better than start with Singh’s book’ Mail on Sunday ‘An excellent introduction to the way modern science works’ The Times Higher Education Supplement By the same author Fermat’s Last Theorem The Code Book Copyright Harper Perennial An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77-85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith London W6 8JB This edition published by Harper Perennial 2005 FIRST EDITION First published by Fourth Estate 2004 Copyright © Simon Singh 2004 Diagrams copyright © Raymond Turvey 2004 PS section copyright © Louise Tucker 2005, except ‘The Missing Pages’ by Simon Singh © Simon Singh 2005 PS™ is a trademark of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd Simon Singh asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen.

He provides me with frank comments on my work and is always there during times of crisis, and I cannot imagine there are many literary agents who would accompany their authors to Zambia to witness a solar eclipse. In short, Patrick has been the best friend that any author could wish for. Simon Singh London June 2004 About the Author Simon Singh received his PhD in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed the BAFTA award-winning documentary film Fermat’s Last Theorem and wrote the bestselling book of the same name, followed by The Code Book, also a bestseller, which was the basis for the Channel 4 series, The Science of Secrecy. For automatic updates on Simon Singh visit and register for AuthorTracker. Visit for exclusive information on your favorite HarperCollins author. From the reviews of Big Bang: ‘Singh is a very gifted storyteller who never misses the chance to make his subject clearer or more entertaining’ SCARLETT THOMAS, Independent on Sunday ‘This very well-written book conveys the ideas underpinning cosmological theory with great clarity’ Nature ‘Singh uses beautifully simple analogies and clearly explained dia grams to enable even the most mathematically hobbled of us to recapitulate the history of man’s intellectual engagement with the dark spaces around him’ Sunday Telegraph ‘If you are intrigued by the story but wary of mathematics, do not worry; Simon Singh spares us most of the maths, and he juggles big ideas with tact and care’ Daily Mail A model of clarity’ Economist ‘Singh tells his tale well, with chatty anecdotes leavening the astro physics’ Guardian ‘An epic tale brilliantly told, packed with courage and tragedy, heroes and martyrs’ Daily Telegraph ‘Even if the cosmologists don’t know where the universe is going, at least they have found out where it has come from.

And many of these interests still relate to communicating science and mathematics, so to a large extent my answer to the previous question still holds true. TOP TEN Simon Singh’s Top Ten Favourite Books: Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman! Richard Feynman The Making of the Atomic Bomb Richard Rhodes Chaos James Gleick Flatland Edwin A. Abbott A Mathematician’s Apology G.H. Hardy Our Final Century Martin Rees The Surgeon of Crowthorne Simon Winchester Dr Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation Olivia Judson Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster LIFE at a Glance Simon Singh was born in Somerset in 1964. He studied physics at Imperial College, London, and then completed his PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University and CERN, Geneva.


pages: 289 words: 85,315

Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh


Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, kremlinology, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, Simon Singh, Wolfskehl Prize

C. 166 Tokyo, international symposium (1955) 203 translational symmetry 196–7 trichotomy, law of 148 truels 167, 343 Turing, Alan Mathison 167–176 uncertainty principle 161–2 undecidability theorems 159–63 von Neumann, John 159, 167 Wagstaff, Samuel S. 176 Wallis, John 38, 42, 64 weighing problem 61, 337–8 Weil, André 160, 210 Weil conjecture see Taniyama–Shimura conjecture Weyl, Hermann 149 Whitehead, Alfred North 156 whole numbers 11 Wiener Kreis (Viennese Circle) 157 Wiles, Andrew xviii, 181, 224, 276, 302 adolescence and Fermat’s Last Theorem 5–6, 33, 77–8 graduate student days 180–81, 183 tackles elliptic equations 183, 184–5, 188, 189 and Taniyama–Shimura conjecture 215, 223, 225–31, 232, 258–61, 263–5, 274 uses Galois’s groups 251–3, 258, 296 announces proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem 1–2, 5, 33–5, 34, 266–72 reaction of media 272–4 mathematical celebrity 274, 290–91 submits proof for verification 277–9 proof flawed 279–91, 293, 296 proof revised 296–300 proof published 304–5 wins Wolf Prize 308 collects Wolfskehl Prize 308 and the future 309 Wiles, Nada 230, 265, 281, 298–9 Wolf Prize 306 Wolfskehl, Paul 132, 133–5 Wolfskehl Prize 135–7, 143–6, 268 Zagier, Don 254 zero, function of 58–9 About the Author FERMAT’S LAST THEOREM Simon Singh received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed the BAFTA award-winning documentary film Fermat’s Last Theorem and wrote the best selling book of the same name. He is also the author of The Code Book and Big Bang. Also by the Author The Code Book Big Bang Copyright Fourth Estate An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 77–85 Fulham Palace Road Hammersmith London W6 8JB First published in paperback by Fourth Estate in 2002 (reprinted 4 times) First published in Great Britain in 1997 by Fourth Estate Copyright © 1997 by Simon Singh Foreword copyright © 1997 by John Lynch Line illustrations by Jed Mugford The right of Simon Singh to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

SIMON SINGH Fermat’s Last Theorem THE STORY OF A RIDDLE THAT CONFOUNDED THE WORLD’S GREATEST MINDS FOR 358 YEARS In memory of Pakhar Singh Birring CONTENTS Cover Title Page Dedication Foreword Preface 1 ‘I Think I’ll Stop Here’ 2 The Riddler 3 A Mathematical Disgrace 4 Into Abstraction 5 Proof by Contradiction 6 The Secret Calculation 7 A Slight Problem Epilogue Grand Unified Mathematics Appendices Suggestions for Further Reading Index About the Author Also by the Author Copyright About the Publisher Foreword We finally met across a room, not crowded, but large enough to hold the entire Mathematics Department at Princeton on their occasions of great celebration. On that particular afternoon, there were not so very many people around, but enough for me to be uncertain as to which one was Andrew Wiles.

History was littered with false claims, and much as I wished that he would be the exception, it was hard to imagine Andrew as anything but another headstone in that mathematical graveyard. A year later I received the call. After an extraordinary mathematical twist, and a flash of true insight and inspiration, Andrew had finally brought an end to Fermat in his professional life. A year after that, we found the time for him to devote to filming. By this time I had invited Simon Singh to join me in making the film, and together we spent time with Andrew, learning from the man himself the full story of those seven years of isolated study, and his year of hell that followed. As we filmed, Andrew told us, as he had told no one before, of his innermost feelings about what he had done; how for thirty years he had hung on to a childhood dream; how so much of the maths he had ever studied had been, without his really knowing it at the time, really a gathering of tools for the Fermat challenge that had dominated his career; how nothing would ever be the same; of his sense of loss for the problem that would no longer be his constant companion; and of the uplifting sense of release that he now felt.


pages: 357 words: 110,072

Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Edzard Ernst, Simon Singh


Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, correlation does not imply causation, false memory syndrome, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, germ theory of disease, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method

Trick or Treatment Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst, MD W. W. NORTON & COMPANY New York • London Copyright © 2008 by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst First published in Great Britain in 2008 by Bantam Press, an imprint of Transworld Publishers, under the title Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial All rights reserved For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 Production manager: Anna Oler Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Singh, Simon. Trick or treatment: the undeniable facts about alternative medicine/ Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst.—1st American ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references.

Moreover, neither of us has ever been employed by a pharmaceutical company, and nor have we ever personally profited from the ‘natural health’ sector – we can honestly say that our only motive is to get to the truth. And our partnership brings balance to the book. One of us, Edzard Ernst, is an insider who practised medicine for many years, including some alternative therapies. He is the world’s first professor of alternative medicine, and his research group has spent fifteen years trying to work out which treatments work and which do not. The other of us, Simon Singh, is an outsider who has spent almost two decades as a science journalist, working in print, television and radio, always striving to explain complicated ideas in a way that the general public can grasp. Together we think that we can get closer to the truth than anybody else and, equally importantly, we will endeavour to explain it to you in a clear, vivid and comprehensible manner. Our mission is to reveal the truth about the potions, lotions, pills, needles, pummelling and energizing that lie beyond the realms of conventional medicine, but which are becoming increasingly attractive for many patients.

In one case, a patient being treated for pancreatitis (a life-threatening condition) was given a homeopathic remedy with a label advising that abdominal pain was part of the healing crisis, otherwise known as a homeopathic aggravation. So, just when the pancreatitis might be worsening and the patient ought to be seeking urgent medical attention, the homeopathic advice would be that the patient should relax because everything is progressing as expected. In 2006, Simon Singh, one of the authors of this book, attempted to highlight the extent to which homeopaths give bad advice by finding out what they would offer to a young traveller seeking protection against malaria. Working with Alice Tuff and the charity Sense About Science, Singh developed a storyline in which Tuff would be making a ten-week overland trip through West Africa, where there is a high prevalence of the most dangerous strain of malaria, which can result in death within three days.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen


Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart,, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge

And that will bring astonishing benefits, benefits far too great to refuse merely to preserve a few successful businesses. As occurs so often with the introduction of new technologies, we are weighing a great good for society against harm for a few. The traditional publishers who are battling against open access should have our sympathy, but not our support. Science Blogging In April of 2008, author Simon Singh wrote a piece in the Guardian newspaper, where he criticized the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for claiming “that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organization is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.”

p 164: The Elsevier revenue and profit figures are based on the 2009 Reed Elsevier Annual Report [181]. p 164: The American Chemical Society’s revenue and profit figures are from [131]. p 164: My account of Eric Dezenhall and the publishers’ trade association (the Association of American Publishers) is based on [70], with additional background from [100]. The quotes from PRISM are from [176]. p 165: Simon Singh’s original article in which he criticized the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is [199]. The article by Dougans and Green on the Singh case is at [56]. My discussion also benefited from articles by Ben Goldacre [74] and Martin Robbins [185]. The BCA’s description of evidence for the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments is [221]. A similar instance of wiki litigation in the open source software world involved assertions by a company called SCO that code it owned had been incorporated into Linux, as a result of which SCO sued companies such as Novell and IBM.

p 179: The final report on Nature’s trial of open peer review: [167]. p 180: Although the user-contributed comment sites for science are failing, scientists aren’t always unwilling to comment online about other scientists’ work. We saw an example along these lines starting on page 259, with science bloggers investigating the evidence for chiropractic offered by the British Chiropractic Association in their dispute with Simon Singh. Other examples include (1) a Polymath-style collaboration [173] in 2010, in which a group of mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists worked together online to analyze a claimed solution to one of the biggest open problems in computer science; (2) a blog-based online discussion [180] analyzing NASA’s 2010 announcement [242] that they’d discovered lifeforms that incorporate arsenic; (3) Faculty of 1000 (, a site that actively recruits a limited number of high-profile researchers to write reviews of biomedical papers; and (4) MathSciNet (, a similar site for mathematics.


pages: 467 words: 116,094

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre


call centre, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Desert Island Discs,, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, Simon Singh, statistical model, stem cell, the scientific method, Turing test, WikiLeaks

This suggests that even if Dr Wilmshurst successfully defends himself, he may never get his £100,000 back. I’m not convinced that a libel law which allows a company like NMT to do this to one man is in society’s best interests. ‘We Are More Possible Than You Can Powerfully Imagine’ Guardian, 29 July 2009 Today the Australian magazine Cosmos, along with a vast number of other blogs and publications, reprinted an article by Simon Singh, in slightly tweaked form, as an act of solidarity. The British Chiropractic Association has been suing Singh personally for the past fifteen months, over a piece in the Guardian in which he criticised the BCA for claiming that its members could treat children for colic, ear infections, asthma, prolonged crying, and sleeping and feeding conditions, by manipulating their spines. The BCA maintains that the efficacy of these treatments is well documented.

Let’s Look at Its Website … NMT is Suing: MIST trial was funded: go to its website: outcome of MIST trial: really was negative: a lengthy correction: 2005 NMT report: restricted by GMC: fallen from $20: ‘We Are More Possible Than You Can Powerfully Imagine’ Guardian: intending to do good: British Medical Journal: web&ct=res&cd=1& The Times: Daily Mail: Daily Telegraph: Independent: Nature: Economist:

story_id=13809291 Times Higher Education: Sunday Times: Channel 4: Wall Street Journal: Observer: British Medical Journal: international petition: Professor David Colquhorn: BCA selectively quoting: Every stone was turned: Quackometer: APGaylard: Gimplyblog: EvidenceMatters: Dr Petra Boynton:


pages: 262 words: 65,959

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets by Simon Singh


Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Benoit Mandelbrot, cognitive dissonance, Erdős number, Georg Cantor, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, Paul Erdős, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Wolfskehl Prize, women in the workforce

The episode’s title is a twist on Two-Lane Blacktop, a cult 1971 movie about two street racers. 25. Wash Bucket is a robotic mop bucket who has appeared in four episodes. 26. Emperor Nikolai is the robot emperor of Robo-Hungary. 27. The Wronskian is used in the study of differential equations and is named after the nineteenth-century French-Polish mathematician Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński. Note on the Author SIMON SINGH received his PhD in particle physics from the University of Cambridge. A former BBC producer, he directed a BAFTA Award–winning documentary about Fermat’s last theorem and wrote a bestselling book on the same subject. His best seller The Code Book was the basis for the Channel Four series The Science of Secrecy. His third book, Big Bang, was also a best seller, and Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine, written with Edzard Ernst, did not sell very well at all, but it did cause quite a fuss.

BY THE SAME AUTHOR Fermat’s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World’s Greatest Mathematical Problem (US edition) Fermat’s Last Theorem: The Story of a Riddle that Confounded the World’s Greatest Minds for 358 Years (UK edition) The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine First published in Great Britain 2013 This electronic edition published in 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Copyright © 2013 by Simon Singh The moral right of the author has been asserted All rights reserved You may not copy, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (including without limitation electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages This book has not been approved, licensed, or sponsored by any entity or person involved in creating or producing The Simpsons™, the film, or the TV series.


pages: 434 words: 135,226

The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy


Ada Lovelace, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, computer age, Dava Sobel, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Erdős number, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, German hyperinflation, global village, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, music of the spheres, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine, William of Occam, Wolfskehl Prize, Y2K

Find Out More∼dusautoy/ Marcus du Sautoy’s own website has a full list of his publications and lots of biographical information, as well as links to other useful sites and several of his articles archived on the internet. The website for this book contains a regularly updated news section and a huge amount of fascinating information related to prime numbers. BOOKSHOP Now you can buy any of these great paperbacks from Harper Perennial at 10% off recommended retail price. FREE postage and packing in the UK. Fermat’s Last Theorem Simon Singh 1 84115 791 0 £8.99 The Code Book Simon Singh 1 85702 889 9 £9.99 Longitude Dava Sobel 1 85702 5717 £6.99 Isaac Newton James GleickO 00 716318 5 £7.99 Nature via Nurture Matt Ridley 1 84115 746 5 £8.99 The Curious Life of Robert Hooke Lisajardine0007151756 £8.99 Total cost———— 10% discount———— Final total———— To purchase by Visa/Mastercard/Switch simply call08707871724orfaxon08707871725 To pay by cheque, send a copy of this form with a cheque made payable to ‘HarperCollins Publishers’ to: Mail Order Dept (Ref: BOM), HarperCollins Publishers, Westerhill Road, Bishopbriggs, G64 2QT, making sure to include your full name, postal address and phone number.


pages: 184 words: 13,957

Haskell by Graham Hutton


Eratosthenes, John Conway, Simon Singh, type inference

Also available on the web from 26. Simon Peyton Jones and David Lester. Implementing Functional Languages: A Tutorial. Prentice Hall, 1992. 27. V.J. Rayward-Smith. A First Course in Formal Language Theory, vol. 234 of Pitman Research Notes in Math. Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1983. 28. John C. Reynolds. Theories of Programming Languages. Cambridge University Press, 1998. 29. Simon Singh. The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code Breaking. Fourth Estate, 1999. 30. Philip Wadler. The Concatenate Vanishes. University of Glasgow, 1989. 31. Philip Wadler. Monads for Functional Programming. In Manfred Broy, ed., Proceedings of the Marktoberdorf Summer School on Program Design Calculi. Springer–Verlag, 1992. Index (), 20, 81, 88, 160 [ ], 20, 75, 118, 160 $!, 134, 164 ⇒, 23, 166 , 32, 39, 50, 57, 59 > >=, 77, 89, 113, 157, 166 ≥, 25, 156, 166 λ, 35, 68, 76, 127, 166 ←, 38, 77, 90, 166 ≤, 25, 156, 166 ∗, 10, 27, 157 +, 10, 27, 157 −, 10, 27, 157 /, 28, 44, 157 ::, 17 :, 33, 160 <, 25, 156 >, 25, 156 ◦, 68, 164, 166 ↑, 10, 159, 166 ==, 24, 156 ∨, 157, 166 ∧, 32, 157, 166 |, 31, 38, 100 ¬, 32, 157, 166 =, 24, 156, 166 ++, 12, 51, 66, 67, 163, 166 !!


pages: 237 words: 50,758

Obliquity: Why Our Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly by John Kay


Andrew Wiles, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, British Empire, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, discovery of penicillin, diversification, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Pasteur, market fundamentalism, Nash equilibrium, pattern recognition, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, shareholder value, Simon Singh, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk

Chapter 6: The Ubiquity of Obliquity—How Obliquity Is Relevant to Many Aspects of Our Lives 1 Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (London, George Bell & Sons, 1878), vol. I, p. 431. 2 Ernst H. Gombrich, The Story of Art (Oxford, Phaidon Press, 1978), p. 8. 3 Pablo Picasso to Marius de Zaya in Arts, May 1923, reproduced in Alfred H. Barr, Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art (New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1946), p. 270. 4 Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem (London, Fourth Estate, 1997). 5 U.S. National Park Service, “The Yellowstone Fires of 1988,” 2008. 6 B. M. Kilgore, “Origin and History of Wildland Fire Use in the U.S. National Park System,” George Wright Forum 24, no. 3 (2007). 7 Le Corbusier, The Radiant City (London, Faber & Faber, 1964), p.154. 8 Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (New York, Vintage Books, 1975), p. 11. 9 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1965), p. 350. 10 Louis Pasteur, 1854, quoted in Maurice B.


pages: 184 words: 13,985

Programming in Haskell by Graham Hutton


Eratosthenes, John Conway, Simon Singh, type inference

Also available on the web from 26. Simon Peyton Jones and David Lester. Implementing Functional Languages: A Tutorial. Prentice Hall, 1992. 27. V.J. Rayward-Smith. A First Course in Formal Language Theory, vol. 234 of Pitman Research Notes in Math. Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1983. 28. John C. Reynolds. Theories of Programming Languages. Cambridge University Press, 1998. 29. Simon Singh. The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code Breaking. Fourth Estate, 1999. 30. Philip Wadler. The Concatenate Vanishes. University of Glasgow, 1989. 31. Philip Wadler. Monads for Functional Programming. In Manfred Broy, ed., Proceedings of the Marktoberdorf Summer School on Program Design Calculi. Springer–Verlag, 1992. Index (), 20, 81, 88, 160 [ ], 20, 75, 118, 160 $!, 134, 164 ⇒, 23, 166 , 32, 39, 50, 57, 59 > >=, 77, 89, 113, 157, 166 ≥, 25, 156, 166 λ, 35, 68, 76, 127, 166 ←, 38, 77, 90, 166 ≤, 25, 156, 166 ∗, 10, 27, 157 +, 10, 27, 157 −, 10, 27, 157 /, 28, 44, 157 ::, 17 :, 33, 160 <, 25, 156 >, 25, 156 ◦, 68, 164, 166 ↑, 10, 159, 166 ==, 24, 156 ∨, 157, 166 ∧, 32, 157, 166 |, 31, 38, 100 ¬, 32, 157, 166 =, 24, 156, 166 ++, 12, 51, 66, 67, 163, 166 !!


pages: 250 words: 73,574

Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers by John MacCormick, Chris Bishop


Ada Lovelace, AltaVista, Claude Shannon: information theory, fault tolerance, information retrieval, Menlo Park, PageRank, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush

A much more technical, wide-ranging analysis appears in Langville and Meyer's Google's PageRank and Beyond—but this book requires college-level linear algebra. John Battelle's The Search begins with an accessible and interesting history of the web search industry, including the rise of Google. The web spam mentioned on page 36 is discussed in “Spam, Damn Spam, and Statistics: Using Statistical Analysis to Locate Spam Web Pages,” by Fetterly, Manasse, and Najork, and published in the 2004 WebDB conference. Public key cryptography (chapter 4). Simon Singh's The Code Book contains superb, accessible descriptions of many aspects of cryptography, including public key. It also recounts in detail the story of the secret discovery of public key cryptography at GCHQin Britain. Bishop's lectures (see above) contain a clever practical demonstration of the paint-mixing analogy for public key crypto. Error correcting codes (chapter 5). The anecdotes about Hamming are documented in Thomas M.


pages: 297 words: 77,362

The Nature of Technology by W. Brian Arthur


Andrew Wiles, business process, cognitive dissonance, computer age, double helix, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, haute cuisine, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, locking in a profit, Mars Rover, means of production, railway mania, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

Lane and Maxfield, “Foresight, Complexity, and Strategy,” in The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, W. B. Arthur, S. Durlauf, and D. A. Lane, eds., Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1997. Aitken (1985, p. 547) says that “[t]o understand the process [of invention] it is essential to understand the previously separate flows of information and stocks of knowledge that came together to produce something new” 129 says mathematician Kenneth Ribet: Quoted in Simon Singh, Fermat’s Last Theorem, Fourth Estate, London, 1997, p. 304. Chapter 7: Structural Deepening 131 path of development: Economists call this a technological trajectory. See Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter, “In Search of a Useful Theory of Innovation,” Research Policy 6, 36–76, 1977; G. Dosi, “Technological Paradigms and Technological Trajectories,” Research Policy 11, 146–62, 1982; and Dosi, Innovation, Organization, and Economic Dynamics, Edward Elgar, Aldershot, UK, 2000, p. 53.


pages: 281 words: 79,958

Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives by Michael Specter


agricultural Revolution, Anne Wojcicki, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Drosophila, food miles, invention of gunpowder, out of africa, personalized medicine, placebo effect, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, Skype, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, X Prize

In addition, the National Center for Complementary Medicine, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center each offer information on vitamins and supplements at,, and respectively, as of course do many other in stitutions. The two best recent treatments of alternative health have both been written or edited by Ernst Edzard, who is professor of complementary medicine at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth. The first, written with Simon Singh, is Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine (Norton, 2008). Edzard also edited Healing, Hype or Harm? A Critical Analysis of Complementary or Alternative Medicine (Societas, 2008). For the other side of the story, Andrew Weil is the man to see. He is prolific, but one might begin with Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being (Knopf, 2005).


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick


Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter,, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

Friedman, “Edgar Allan Poe, Cryptographer,” American Literature 8, no. 3 (1936): 266–80; Joseph Wood Krutch, Edgar Allan Poe: A Study in Genius (New York: Knopf, 1926). ♦ A “KEY-ALPHABET” AND A “MESSAGE-ALPHABET”: Lewis Carroll, “The Telegraph-Cipher,” printed card 8 x 12 cm., Berol Collection, New York University Library. ♦ “ONE OF THE MOST SINGULAR CHARACTERISTICS”: Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1864), 235. ♦ POLYALPHABETIC CIPHER KNOWN AS THE VIGENÈRE: Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Code-breaking (London: Fourth Estate, 1999), 63 ff. ♦ “THE VARIOUS PARTS OF THE MACHINERY”: Dionysius Lardner, “Babbage’s Calculating Engines,” Edinburgh Review 59, no. 120 (1834): 315–17. ♦ “NAME OF EVERYTHING WHICH IS BOTH X AND Y”: De Morgan to Boole, 28 November 1847, in G. C. Smith, ed., The Boole–De Morgan Correspondence 1842–1864 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 25

♦ BENNETT AND HIS RESEARCH ASSISTANT: J. A. Smolin, “The Early Days of Experimental Quantum Cryptography,” IBM Journal of Research and Development 48 (2004): 47–52. ♦ “WE SAY THINGS SUCH AS ‘ALICE SENDS BOB’ ”: Barbara M. Terhal, “Is Entanglement Monogamous?” IBM Journal of Research and Development 48, no. 1 (2004): 71–78. ♦ FOLLOWING AN INTRICATE AND COMPLEX PROTOCOL: A detailed explanation can be found in Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes and Codebreaking (London: Fourth Estate, 1999); it takes ten pages of exquisite prose, beginning at 339. ♦ “STAND BY: I’LL TELEPORT YOU SOME GOULASH”: IBM advertisement, Scientific American (February 1996), 0–1; Anthony H. G. Hey, ed., Feynman and Computation, xiii; Tom Siegfried, The Bit and the Pendulum, 13. ♦ “UNFORTUNATELY THE PREPOSTEROUS SPELLING QUBIT”: N.


pages: 743 words: 201,651

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Clapham omnibus, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, financial independence, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global village, index card, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Snapchat, social graph, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War

When they finally succeeded, with the aid of a journalistic campaign led by the British Medical Journal, it turned out that Roche’s claims about cutting down serious illness and reducing the burden on hospitals were unfounded. They were mainly based on a single research paper, using company statisticians. Out of such experiences emerged a movement, animated by the science writer Ben Goldacre, calling for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their methods and results reported.3 Another British science writer, Simon Singh, was sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association because he wrote that the organisation ‘happily promotes bogus treatments’ based on ‘not a jot of evidence’.4 Although Singh eventually won his case on appeal, he had to persevere through years of expensive and stressful litigation. Outrage at the chiropractors’ manipulation of Britain’s libel law contributed to its subsequent reform.

See British Medical Journal 2009, 3. on the Tamiflu saga, the best source are the papers gathered online by the British Medical Journal, ‘Tamiflu Data: Who Saw What When’, See also Goldacre 2009, 82–91. The figure of £424 million comes from page 6 of the report of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, ‘Access to Clinical Trial Information and the Stockpiling of Tamiflu’, For the clinical trials movement, see Goldacre 2009, 220–21, Goldacre 2012 and 4. Simon Singh, ‘Beware the Spinal Trap’, The Guardian, 19 April 2008, 5. see Roehr 2011 and Maryam Omidi, ‘Bioterrorism and bird flu’, Free Speech Debate, 6. Lawrence H. Summers, ‘Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce’, 7. quoted in Post 2012, 61. The best guides to academic freedom with special reference to free speech are Post 2012 and, instructively comparing Britain, the United States and Germany, Barendt 2010 8. my talk to a class at Tsinghua University about John Stuart Mill and free speech was a rare exception, kindly but also informally organised by Daniel Bell 9. in the United States, a whole organisation, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has been dedicated to challenging such restrictions.


pages: 439 words: 104,154

The Clockwork Universe: Saac Newto, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldI by Edward Dolnick


Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, complexity theory, double helix, Edmond Halley, Isaac Newton, lone genius, music of the spheres, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

., p. 39. 63 The “lust to find out”: William Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 60. 63 “what the Lord keeps secret”: Ecclesiastes 3:22–23, quoted in Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 60. 64 “If the wisest men”: Westfall, Science and Religion in Seventeenth-Century England, p. 22. 64 How could anyone draw: Shapin, The Scientific Revolution, p. 82. 64 “absorbing, classifying, and preserving”: Allan Chapman, England’s Leonardo: Robert Hooke and the Seventeenth-Century Scientific Revolution, p. 40. 65fn Bacon’s zeal for experimentation: John Aubrey, Brief Lives (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1982), entry for “Francis Bacon.” 65 Nature must be “put to the torture”: Ibid., p. 40. 65 dizzy and temporarily deaf: Jardine, Ingenious Pursuits, p. 56. CHAPTER 11. TO THE BARRICADES! 66 “I swear to you by God’s”: David Berlinski, Infinite Ascent, p. 66. 67 “like torches, that in the lighting”: Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 330. 68 “I’ve known since yesterday”: Simon Singh, Big Bang (New York: Harper, 2004), p. 302. Richard Feynman tells the story in its classic, romantic form in his Feynman Lectures on Physics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1963), pp. 3–7, almost as soon as he begins. 68 For decades Hooke argued: Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 347. 68 “Nothing considerable in that kind”: Ibid., p. 347. 68 “Do not throw your pearls”: Paolo Rossi, The Birth of Modern Science, p. 18. 69fn The historian Paolo Rossi: Rossi, The Birth of Modern Science, p. 15. 70 “to improve the knowledge”: Eamon, Science and the Secrets of Nature, p. 348. 70 “not by a glorious pomp”: Ibid., p. 25, quoting Sprat, History of the Royal Society, pp. 62–63. 70 “a close, naked, natural way”: Sprat, History of the Royal Society, p. 113. 71 “All that I mean”: Carey, John Donne, p. 58.


pages: 449 words: 123,459

The Infinity Puzzle by Frank Close


Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Arthur Eddington, dark matter, El Camino Real,, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh

Unless otherwise specified, quotes from ’t Hooft are from interview with the author on April 11, 2000 and e-mails of September 10 and September 13, 2010. 2. This is a statement of the perception when the problem remained unsolved, exemplified by the startled reactions when the news of ’t Hooft’s work became known (see page 12). However, remarkable though ’t Hooft and Veltman’s work was, the technical achievement cannot really be compared to that of Wiles, who had to build whole new lines of mathematics, and alone. See Simon Singh’s book Fermat’s Last Theorem for the story of Wiles’s triumph. 3. M. Veltman, Nobel Lecture, /laureates/1999/veltman-lecture.html, 384. 4. M. Veltman, Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics, 299. 5. Veltman, Nobel Lecture, 384. 6. Quotes are from Veltman’s Nobel Lecture in 1999. In 1971 he rewarded Lee with a warm-up role on the occasion of Veltman’s triumphant launch of his student Gerard ’t Hooft (see page 222). 7.


pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku


agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter,, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, megacity, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Michael Salamon, NASA’s Beyond Einstein program Adam Savage, host of MythBusters Peter Schwartz, futurist, cofounder of Global Business Network, author of The Long View Michael Shermer, founder of the Skeptics Society and Skeptic magazine Donna Shirley, former manager, NASA Mars Exploration Program Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Neil Shubin, professor of organismal biology and anatomy, University of Chicago, author of Your Inner Fish Paul Shuch, executive director emeritus, SETI League Peter Singer, author of Wired for War, Brookings Institute Simon Singh, author of Big Bang Gary Small, coauthor of iBrain Paul Spudis, Planetary Geology Program of the NASA Office of Space Science, Solar System Division Steven Squyres, professor of astronomy, Cornell University Paul Steinhardt, professor of physics, Princeton University, coauthor of Endless Universe Gregory Stock, UCLA, author of Redesigning Humans Richard Stone, The Last Great Impact on Earth, Discover Magazine Brian Sullivan, formerly with the Hayden Planetarium Leonard Susskind, professor of physics, Stanford University Daniel Tammet, autistic savant, author of Born on a Blue Day Geoffrey Taylor, physicist, University of Melbourne the late Ted Taylor, designer of U.S. nuclear warheads Max Tegmark, physicist, MIT Alvin Toffler, author of The Third Wave Patrick Tucker, World Future Society Admiral Stansfield M.


pages: 470 words: 144,455

Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier


Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, business process, butterfly effect, cashless society, Columbine, defense in depth, double entry bookkeeping, fault tolerance, game design, IFF: identification friend or foe, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, mutually assured destruction, pez dispenser, pirate software, profit motive, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, slashdot, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, the payments system, Y2K, Yogi Berra

And I would like to thank Michael Angelo, Ken Ayer, Steve Bass, David Dyer-Bennet, Ed Bennett, Russell Brand, Karen Cooper, David Cowan, Walt Curtis, Dorothy Denning, Carl Ellison, Andrew Fernandez, Gordon Force, Amy Forsyth, Dean Gahlon, Drew Gross, Gregory Guerin, Peter Gutmann, Mark Hardy, Dave Ihnat, Chris Johnston, James Jorasch, Arjen Lenstra, Stuart McClure, Gary McGraw, Doug Merrill, Jeff Moss, Simona Nass, Artimage Nelson, Peter Neumann, Andrew Odlyzko, Doug Price, James Riordan, Bernard Roussely, Tom Rowley, Avi Rubin, Ryan Russell, Adam Shostack, Simon Singh, Jim Wallner, and Elizabeth Zwicky, who read and commented on all or part of the book in its almost-final form. These people did a lot to make the book complete, accurate, and interesting. Any remaining omissions, lingering errors, or residual prolixity are solely my own fault. Open source pundit Eric Raymond has said: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” We’ll see if this holds true for books, too.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper


4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

The numbers on Bitcoin trading volumes come from www.bitcoinmarkets. com and For those looking to learn more about the topics covered in this book there are several wonderful books. On the history of the Cypherpunks, there is Andy Greenberg’s This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information. For the history of cryptography I learned a great deal from Simon Singh’s The Code Book. For those eager to learn more about the evolution of money, Felix Martin’s Money: An Authorized Biography and Jack Weatherford’s The History of Money are wonderful reads, and Nigel Dodd’s The Social Life is thought-provoking. Those looking to go into greater depth can try A History of Money by Glyn Davies. I also benefited from Eileen Ormsby’s book Silk Road, the first of what I’m sure will be many fascinating volumes about the online bazaar.


pages: 467 words: 114,570

Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science by Jim Al-Khalili


agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Book of Ingenious Devices, colonial rule, Commentariolus, Dmitri Mendeleev, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Joseph Schumpeter, retrograde motion, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, trade route, William of Occam

Nawas, ‘A Reexamination of Three Current Explanations for Al-Ma’mun’s Introduction of the Miḥna’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 26/4 (1994), pp. 615–29. 2. Peter Adamson, Al-Kindi, Great Medieval Thinkers (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 4. 3. Socrates did not himself leave any philosophical writings. His ideas reach us only through the writings of his contemporaries and students, most notably Plato. 4. Quoted in Richard Walzer, ‘The Rise of Islamic Philosophy’, Oriens, 3/1 (1950), p. 9. 5. Simon Singh, The Code Book (Fourth Estate, 2000), pp. 14–20. 6. Lynn Thorndike, Arabic Occult Science of the Ninth Century (Kessinger Publishing, 2005), p. 649. 7. Alfred L. Ivry, ‘Al-Kindi and the Mu’tazila: A Philosophical and Political Reevaluation’, Oriens, 25 (1976), p. 82. 8. Adamson, Al-Kindi, p. 5. 9. Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Oliver Leaman (eds.), History of Islamic Philosophy (Routledge, 1996), p. 166.


pages: 402 words: 129,876

Bad Pharma: How Medicine Is Broken, and How We Can Fix It by Ben Goldacre


data acquisition, framing effect, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income per capita, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, WikiLeaks

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, FURTHER READING AND A NOTE ON ERRORS I have been taught, corrected, calibrated, cajoled, entertained, encouraged and informed by a very large number of people, including John King, Liz Parratt, Steve Rolles, Mark Pilkington, Shalinee Singh, Alex Lomas, Liam Smeeth, Josie Long, Ian Roberts, Tim Minchin, Ian Sample, Carl Heneghan, Richard Lehman, Dara Ó Briain, Paul Glasziou, Hilda Bastian, Simon Wessely, Cicely Marston, Archie Cochrane, William Lee, Brian Cox, Sreeram Ramagopalan, Hind Khalifeh, Martin McKee, Cory Doctorow, Evan Harris, Muir Gray, Amanda Burls, Rob Manuel, Tobias Sargent, Anna Powell-Smith, Tjeerd van Staa, Robin Ince, Roddy Mansfield, Rami Tzabar, Phil Baker, George Davey-Smith, David Pescovitz, Charlotte Wattebot-O’Brien, Patrick Matthews, Giles Wakely, Claire Gerada, Andy Lewis, Suzie Whitwell, Harry Metcalfe, Gimpy, David Colquhoun, Louise Burton, Simon Singh, Vaughan Bell, Richard Peto, Louise Crow, Julian Peto, Nick Mailer, Rob Aldridge, Milly Marston, Tom Steinberg, Mike Jay, Amber Marks, Reg, Mum, Dad, Josh, Raph, Allie, and Lou. I’m hugely indebted to the late Pat Kavanagh, Rosemary Scoular, Lara Hughes-Young, and especially Sarah Ballard, who is amazing. Robert Lacey has copy-edited my last two books, he is gentle. Louise Haines has been mighty.


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid


1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

ANARCHY 1.James Ellis, The Story of Non-secret Encryption (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1987), para. 4. 2.Walter Koenig, Final Report on Project C-43: Continuation of Decoding Speech Codes, NDRC contract no. OEMsr-435 (New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1944). 3.James Ellis, The Possibility of Secure Non-Secret Digital Encryption, research report no. 3006 (Cheltenham, UK: GCHQ/CESG, 1970). 4.Quoted in Steven Levy, Crypto (New York: Penguin, 2000), 396. 5.Clifford Cocks, quoted in Simon Singh, The Code Book (London: Fourth Estate, 1999), 285. 6.Ellis, Possibility. 7.“You did more with it than we did,” Ellis once told fellow cryptographer Whitfield Diffie, but he refused to say more. See the last paragraph of Steven Levy’s Crypto. 8.Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, “New Directions in Cryptography,” IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 22, no. 6 (November 1976): 644–54. 9.For an excellent and more detailed description, see Levy, Crypto, 90–124. 10.Martin Gardner, “A New Kind of Cipher That Would Take Millions of Years to Break,” Scientific American 237, no. 2 (August 1977): 120–24. 11.Singh mentions three thousand letters; Levy, seven thousand.


pages: 1,396 words: 245,647

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo


Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia

Others who have been extremely helpful in responding to my enquiries: Sir Michael Atiyah, Tom Baldwin, John Barnes, Herman Batelaan, Steve Batterson, John Bendall, Giovanna Blackett, Margaret Booth (née Hartree), Gustav Born, Olaf Breidbach, Andrew Brown, Nicholas Capaldi, David Cassidy, Brian Cathcart, Martin Clark, Paul Clark, Chris Cockcroft, Thea Cockcroft, Flurin Condrau, Beverley Cook, Peter Cooper, Tam Dalyell, Dick Dalitz, Olivier Darrigol, Richard Davies, Stanley Deser, David Edgerton, John Ellis, Joyce Farmelo, Michael Frayn, Igor Gamow, Joshua Goldman, Jeffrey Goldstone, Jeremy Gray, Karl Hall, Richard Hartree, Peter Harvey, Steve Henderson, Chris Hicks, John Holt, Jeff Hughes, Lane Hughston, Bob Jaffe, Edgar Jenkins, Allan Jones, Bob Ketchum, Anne Kox, Charles Kuper, Peter Lamarque, Willis Lamb, Dominique Lambert, Ellen and Leon Lederman, Sabine Lee, John Maddox, Philip Mannheim, Robin Marshall, Dennis McCormick, Arthur I. Miller, Andrew Nahum, Michael Noakes, Mary Jo Nye, Susan Oakes, James Overduin, Bob Parkinson, John Partington, Sir Roger Penrose, Trevor Powell, Roger Philips, Chris Redmond, Tony Scarr, Robert Schulmann, Bernard Shultz, Simon Singh, John Skorupski, Ulrica Söderlind, Alistair Sponsel, Henry King Stanford, Simon Stevens, George Sudashan, Colleen Taylor-Sen, Laura Thorne, Claire Tomalin, Martin Veltman, Andrew Warwick, John Watson, Russell Webb, Nina Wedderburn, John Wheeler, the late David Whitehead, Oliver Whitehead, Frank Wilczek, Michael Worboys, Nigel Wrench, Sir Denys Wilkinson and Abe Yoffe. Special thanks to Alexei Kojevnikov, who has been unstinting in the guidance and help he has given to me concerning the development of Russian physics in the past century.


pages: 998 words: 211,235

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar


Al Roth, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, experimental economics, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, linear programming, lone genius, market design, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, Ronald Coase, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, spectrum auction, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile

” — David Goodstein, The New York Times “Powerfully affecting … a three-handkerchief read.” — Charles C. Mann, The Wall Street Journal “A triumph of intellectual biography.” — Robert Boynton, Newsday “Might be compared to a Rembrandt portrait, filled with somber shadows and radiant light effects… simply a beautiful book.” — Marcia Bartusiak, The Boston Globe “A remarkable look into the arcane world of mathematics and the tragedy of madness.” — Simon Singh, The New York Times Book Review “A narrative of compelling power.” — John Allen Paulos, Los Angeles Times “A wonderfully absorbing puzzle.” — Claire Douglas, Washington Post Book World “A poetical love and coming-of-age story.” — Ted Anton, Chicago Tribune “The stuff of classic tragedy.” — Robert A. Burton, San Jose Mercun News “A powerful story brilliantly told.” — Will St.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman


Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, crowdsourcing,, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

the virtues of having an “autistic cognitive style”: Create Your Own Economy, Tyler Cowen. Dutton, 2009. coming out in midlife about her diagnosis: “Daryl Hannah Breaks Her Silence about Her Autism Struggle,” Rebecca Macatee. E! Online, Sept. 27, 2013. musing about his autistic traits: “Interview with Richard Borcherds,” Simon Singh. Guardian, Aug. 28, 1998. “On a very drawn-out scale, I think I’m on the spectrum”: “Jerry Seinfeld to Brian Williams: ‘I Think I’m on the Spectrum.’” NBC News, Nov. 6, 2014. After a storm of media attention, Seinfeld would eventually walk those comments back, saying that he “related” to a dramatized account of the lives of people on the spectrum. CHAPTER 2.