Infinitely fascinating.…succeeds in making slippery ideas easy to grasp — including the way the vast complexity that springs from simple mathematical rules can explain intelligence and life itself.”

— Sunday Times, London
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The Big Bang of Numbers

How to Build the Universe Using Only Math

A playful and imaginative tour through the fundamental mathematical concepts — from arithmetic to infinity — that form the building blocks of our universe.

Our universe has multiple origin stories, from religious creation myths to the Big Bang of scientists. But if we leave those behind and start from nothing — no matter, no cosmos, not even empty space — could we create a universe using only math? With irreverent humor and boundless creativity, Manil Suri invites us to try.

Offering both striking new perspectives for math aficionados and an accessible introduction for anyone daunted by calculation, The Big Bang of Numbers proves that we can all fall in love with math.

Praise for The Big Bang of Numbers

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  • [Suri] successfully explores many areas of seemingly pure math that explain the natural world… He also sheds light on abstruse subjects (fractals, infinity, curved space) that puzzle humans more than they should, creating a text that is deeper than most popular writing on math but worth the effort. A successful contribution to the math-isn’t‑boring genre.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • A most unusual, creative, and fascinating account of mathematics that relies not on equations or formulas, but on real-life examples, metaphors, paradoxes, and lovely vignettes.”

    — John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy and A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper
  • In The Big Bang of Numbers, Manil Suri invites the reader to create a universe made of mathematical ideas, sparking a thrill that may catch you off guard — an exhilarating sensation of playfulness, power, and insight.”

    — Steven Strogatz, New York Times bestselling author of Infinite Powers and The Joy of x
  • Who knew numbers could be so charming? So industrious? Suri takes us on a lighthearted journey all the way from nothing (zero) to infinity. Math has rarely been so readable.”

    — Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  • A beautifully written meditation on mathematics: whimsical, thought-provoking and deep.”

    — Alex Bellos, author of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland
  • Suri takes on the challenge of developing mathematics from scratch in this high concept thought experiment.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • …imaginative and organized; [Suri] presents his material clearly with nice graphics.”

    — The Wall Street Journal
  • By limiting the formulas and equations, the author has created a very readable tour of mathematics that emphasizes ideas over calculation.”

    — Physics Today
  • …a great sneak peek ahead for anyone interested in mathematical ideas, but bored by the lack of conceptual depth in their introductory math classes.”

    — Mathematical Association of America
  • Infinitely fascinating.…succeeds in making slippery ideas easy to grasp — including the way the vast complexity that springs from simple mathematical rules can explain intelligence and life itself.”

    — Sunday Times, London
The Big Bang of Numbers by Manil Suri
 
Bloomsbury Edition
(UK, India, Australia)
The Big Bang of Numbers UK Cover