"Magical Mathematics" reveals the secrets of amazing,
fun-to-perform card tricks--and the profound mathematical ideas
behind them--that will astound even the most accomplished magician.
Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step
instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect
and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each
card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the
tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today's
mathematical knowledge. For example, the Gilbreath Principle--a
fantastic effect where the cards remain in control despite being
shuffled--is found to share an intimate connection with the
Mandelbrot set. Other card tricks link to the mathematical secrets
of combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, topology, the
Riemann hypothesis, and even Fermat's last theorem.
Diaconis and Graham are mathematicians as well as skilled
performers with decades of professional experience between them. In
this book they share a wealth of conjuring lore, including some
closely guarded secrets of legendary magicians. "Magical
Mathematics" covers the mathematics of juggling and shows how the
"I Ching" connects to the history of probability and magic tricks
both old and new. It tells the stories--and reveals the best
tricks--of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical
magic. "Magical Mathematics" exposes old gambling secrets through
the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic
street-gambling scam of three-card monte, traces the history of
mathematical magic back to the thirteenth century and the oldest
mathematical trick--and much more.
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