## Table of Contents

Introduction: The Pope Made Me Write This Book 1

Day 1 Arithmetic

1 Setting Up the Big Bang 15

2 Games Numbers Play 22

3 More Games 32

4 Searching for their Roots 41

5 An Irrational Universe 48

6 Journey into the Imaginary 56

Day 2 Geometry

7 The Universe Needs its Space 67

8 Settling the Complexes 81

9 Fun and Games on the Plane 91

10 Two Questions about the Plane 97

11 Space or Bust 102

12 An Alternative Geometry 107

13 Crocheting Your Universe 113

14 The Fourth and Higher Dimensions 122

Day 3 Algebra

15 Outsourcing 135

16 The Joy of X 140

17 The World of Polynomials 148

18 The Y of Things 160

19 The Algebra of Distance 167

Day 4 Patterns

20 Patterns and Perfection 179

21 Nature's Soft Spot 184

22 The Golden Ratio 192

23 Nature's Relation to Math 198

24 Math and Beauty 210

25 Fractals 216

26 The Why and How of Nature's Patterns 228

Day 5 Physics

27 A Universe Run by Laws 245

28 Time and Space 254

29 The Curvature of Spacetime 264

Day 6 Infinity

30 A Finite Univrese of Numbers 275

31 Close Encounters of the Infinite Kind 280

32 The Matching Game 285

33 Battle of the Cardinalities 295

34 A Smile of Georg's Face 300

35 The End of Mathematics 307

Day 7 Emergence

36 Setting Nature Free 317

Acknowledgments 333

Notes 337

Illustration Credits 355

Index 357