Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks

Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks

by Persi Diaconis
4.4 7
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
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Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks

Magical Mathematics reveals the secrets of 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.

Diaconis and Graham tell the stories—and reveal the best tricks—of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. The book 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 oldest mathematical trick—and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691151649
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 10/23/2011
Pages: 258
Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xi

Chapter 1: Mathematics in the Air 1

Royal Hummer 8

Back to Magic 15

Chapter 2: In Cycles 17

The Magic of de Bruijn Sequences 18

Going Further 25

Chapter 3: Is This Stuff Actually Good For Anything? 30

Robotic Vision 30

Making Codes 34

To the Core of Our Being 38

This de Bruijn Stuff Is Cool but Can It Get You a Job? 42

Chapter 4: Universal Cycles 47

Order Matters 47

A Mind-reading Effect 52

Universal Cycles Again 55

Chapter 5: From the Gilbreath Principle to the Mandelbrot Set 61

The Gilbreath Principle 61

The Mandelbrot Set 72

Chapter 6: Neat Shuffles 84

A Mind-reading Computer 85

A Look Inside Perfect Shuffles 92

A Look Inside Monge and Milk Shuffles 96

A Look Inside Down-and-Under Shuffles 98

All the Shuffles Are Related 99

Chapter 7: The Oldest Mathematical Entertainment? 103

The Miracle Divination 105

How Many Magic Tricks Are There? 114

Chapter 8: Magic in the Book of Changes 119

Introduction to the Book of Changes 121

Using the I Ching for Divination 122

Probability and the Book of Changes 125

Some Magic (Tricks) 127

Probability and the I Ching 136

Chapter 9: What Goes Up Must Come Down 137

Writing It Down 138

Getting Started in Juggling 145
10 Stars of Mathematical Magic (and some of the best tricks in the book) 153

Alex Elmsley 156

Bob Neale 160

Henry Christ 173

Stewart James 181

Charles Thornton Jordan 189

Bob Hummer 201

Martin Gardner 211

Chapter 11: Going further 220

Chapter 12: on secrets 225

Notes 231

Index 239

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Magical Mathematics 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Card tricks and more based solely on math formulas that for the most part are easy to learn, and will knock the socks off your friends Get it and have some fun You don't need to know the math to make it work - but it's fun trying to understand the under- lying principle
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kk...srry im taking so long to awnser im telling my bf bye b4 he goes to england for 15 days:( hes leaving n bout two hours
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You do know that everyone can still read this right. Because now everyone knows your password. Just sayin. Oh and btw i am not anybody pertending to be anybody so dont go all crazy.i am just a 15 year old girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey guys whactha doing guys!