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Life's Other Secret: The New Mathematics of the Living World

ISBN: 978-0-471-29651-5
285 pages
January 1999
Life

Description

"Stewart writes with such compelling clarity that general readers can share in the intellectual daring of his perspective."—Booklist An invitation to a hidden world In Life’s Other Secret, mathematician and award-winning science writer Ian Stewart reveals the way mathematics describes the origin, structure, and evolution of life. Featuring a sumptuous gallery of color illustrations demonstrating nature’s intricate wonders, here is an intriguing invitation to enter a world deeper than DNA, a world where number series bloom in springtime and equations gallop across the plains. From the latest theory of how life started to the rules governing the shapes into which animals grow to the ancient patterns of evolution, Stewart illuminates the fundamental forces that shape our world.
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Table of Contents

What Is Life?

Before Life Began.

The Frozen Accident.

The Oxygen Menace.

Artificial Life.

Flowers for Fibonacci.

Morphogens and Mona Lisas.

The Peacock's Tale.

Walk on the Wild Side.

An Exaltation of Boids.

Reef Wars.

In Search of Secrets.

Notes.

Further Reading.

Credits.

Index.

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Author Information

IAN STEWART, Ph.D., has written or coauthored numerous books, including Does God Play Dice?, Fearful Symmetry, Collapse of Chaos, and Nature’s Numbers. In addition, he writes the "Mathematical Recreations" column in Scientific American, serves as mathematics consultant to New Scientist, and is a regular contributor to Discover and The Sciences. In 1995 Dr. Stewart received the Royal Society of England’s Michael Faraday Medal for outstanding contributions to the public understanding of science.
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