Mathematics is, Ian Stewart admits, totally unreal - an entirely mental construct. Furthermore, the complicated equations and lengthy proofs we usually identify as math are no more the essence of math than a musical score is a Beethoven symphony. Yet math is the best tool we have for understanding the world around us. By looking at the universe through mathematical eyes, we have discovered a great secret: nature's patterns are clues to the deep regularities that govern the way the world works.
Mathematics is to nature as Sherlock Holmes is to evidence. It can look at a single snowflake and deduce the atomic structure of ice crystals; it can start with a violin string and uncover the existence of radio waves. And mathematics still has the power to open our eyes to new and unsuspected regularities: the secret structure of a cloud or the hidden rhythms of the weather.
Nature's Numbers will equip you with a mathematician's eyes. It will take you sight-seeing in a mathematical universe. And it will change the way you view your own world.