The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math – Manil Suri
Thoughts: This is an odd book. The premise, of playing through a thought experiment to see whether the universe could be created using mathematics and nothing else, is an excuse to explore and explain various concepts within mathematics. It reads a bit like the script to a Vlog Brothers video (each of John Green’s videos is ostensibly addressed to Hank Green even as they’re also clearly pitched at the channel’s many non-Hank viewers), with Suri regularly making references to the pope, to whom he sent a perusal copy of the book in an (apparently unsuccessful) attempt to get him to write a review for the back cover. Didn’t learn much, but it was a fun read.
(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)
Suri, Manil. 2022, The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math. W. W. Norton.
- 337, endnote for p. 9: to check out at some point: “For an interesting treatise on the philosophy behind thought experiments, see J. R. Brown and Y. Fehige, ‘Thought Experiments,’ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2019/entries/thought-experiment/.”
Posted: Mar 21, 2023. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.