A Mathematical Mystery
Weaves fact, fiction, mathematics, computer science, and ancient history into an entertaining story. This title investigates the confrontation between opposing views of mathematics and reality, and explores ideas from both early and cutting-edge mathematics.
The celebrated mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras left no writings. But what if he had and the manuscript was never found? Where would it be located? And what information would it reveal? These questions are the inspiration for the mathematical mystery novel "Pythagoras' Revenge". Suspenseful and instructive, "Pythagoras' Revenge" weaves fact, fiction, mathematics, computer science, and ancient history into an entertaining story. Jule Davidson, a young American mathematician, answers difficult math riddles on the Internet and stumbles upon a neo-Pythagorean sect searching for the promised reincarnation of Pythagoras. Across the ocean, Elmer Galway, a professor of classical history at Oxford, discovers an Arabic manuscript hinting at the existence of an ancient scroll - possibly left by Pythagoras himself. Unknown to one another, Jule and Elmer each have information that the other requires and, as they race to solve the philosophical and mathematical puzzles set before them, their paths ultimately collide.; Set in 1998 with flashbacks to classical Greece, "Pythagoras' Revenge" investigates the confrontation between opposing views of mathematics and reality, and explores ideas from both early and cutting-edge mathematics. From academic Oxford to suburban Chicago and historic Rome, "Pythagoras' Revenge" is a sophisticated thriller that will grip readers from beginning to surprising end.
Preface ix List of Main Characters xi Prologue xiii PART I: A TIME CAPSULE? Chapter 1. The Fifteen Puzzle 3 Chapter 2. The Impossible Manuscript 10 Chapter 3. Game Over 19 Chapter 4. A Trip to London 25 Chapter 5. A Letter from the Past 32 Chapter 6. Found and Lost 38 Chapter 7. A Death in the Family 46 PART II: AN EXTRAORDINARILY GIFTED MAN Chapter 8. The Mission 53 Chapter 9. Norton Thorp 63 Chapter 10. Random Numbers 69 Chapter 11. Randomness Everywhere 76 Chapter 12. Vanished 82 PART III: A SECT OF NEO-PYTHAGOREANS Chapter 13. The Mandate 85 Chapter 14. The Beacon 87 Chapter 15. The Team 98 Chapter 16. The Hunt 106 Chapter 17. The Symbol of the Serpent 115 Chapter 18. A Professional Job 122 Chapter 19. With a Little Help from Your Sister 126 PART IV: PYTHAGORAS' MISSION Chapter 20. All Roads Lead to Rome 139 Chapter 21. Kidnapped 152 Chapter 22. The Last Piece of the Puzzle 158 Epilogue 169 Appendix 1: Jule's Solution 171 Appendix 2: Infi nitely Many Primes 173 Appendix 3: Random Sequences 175 Appendix 4: A Simple Visual Proof of the Pythagorean Theorem 177 Appendix 5: Perfect and Figured Numbers 178 Notes, Credits, and Bibliographical Sources 181