RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 191009688 LA English T1 The music of Pythagoras : how an ancient brotherhood cracked the code of the universe and lit the path from antiquity to outer space A1 Ferguson, Kitty., PB Walker PP New York YR 2008 SN 9780802716316 0802716318 AB Describes the legacy of Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician and mystic who contemplated the order and symmetry behind musical beauty, discussing Platonists, string theory, and Bertrand Russell. "Pythagoras's influence on the ideas, and therefore on the destiny, of the human race was probably greater than that of any single man before or after him," wrote Arthur Koestler. Though most people know of him only for the famous Pythagorean theorem (a2 +b2 = c2). in fact the pillars of our scientific tradition--belief that the universe is rational, that there is unity to all things, and that numbers and mathematics are a powerful guide to truth about nature and the cosmos--hark back to the thinking of this legendary scholar and his ancient followers. Born around 570 B.C. on the Aegean island of Samos, Pythagoras founded his own school at Croton in southern Italy, where he and his followers attempted to unravel the surprising truths concealed behind such ordinary tasks as tuning a lyre. While considering why some string lengths produced a beautiful sounds and others discordant ones, they uncovered the ratios of musical harmony, and recognized that hidden behind the complexity of nature are patterns and orderly relationships. Some of them later may have found something darker in numbers and nature: irrationality--a revelation so unsettling and subversive that it may have contributed to the destruction of their brotherhood. Kitty Ferguson brilliantly evokes the ancient world of Pythagoras, showing the way ideas spread in antiquity and in the Middle Ages, and chronicling the remarkable influence he and his followers have had on so many notable people--from Plato to Bertrand Russell--and events in the history of Western thought and science. The Music of Pythagoras brings a poignant human saga to readers who are reminded daily that harmony and chaos can and do coexist.