Ten Equations to Explain the Mysteries of Modern Astrophysics

From Information and Chaos Theory to Ghost Particles and Gravitational Waves

by Santhosh Mathew


Author website: https://www.regiscollege.edu/about-regis/find-us/faculty-and-staff-directory/santhosh-mathew
View First 25 Pages: (free download)


This book introduces ten equations that transcend the boundaries of time and space. It takes readers through a journey of self-discovery where they will learn the history, science, and significance of these equations in the context of their lives. Moreover, the mathematical beauty of these equations is presented in a profoundly modest fashion to highlight the idea that equations are eternal but humans are transient.

Each chapter offers readers a sublime experience and provides insights into the laws of nature that address the ever-expanding intricacy of our universe. The history of humankind, according to Franz Kafka, is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler. Therefore, what remains eternal when we finish our journey on this tiny rocky planet is our deep desire to connect with everything else in this universe. These equations capture the essence of that aspiration and remain everlasting while we continue our trivial human pursuits.

Additionally, these ten equations change the way we live and view the world and will outlast even the most enduring signs of our civilization. They have the potential to take us from planet to planet and perhaps to make us a cosmic species. They can destroy the last strand of DNA to terminate life as we know it and generate life again from the fundamental laws of nature. While these equations are intangible, they can create a tangible world yet remain truly eternal.


In this enlightening, accessible, and brief book each highlighted equation receives a chapter that is an essay on its history and implication. This is a work written for a popular audience. No prerequisite mathematical sophistication is required to appreciate the mathematical beauty of these simple equations and their descriptive potential. It is the equationís implication, not technical underpinnings, that is explored here. Each equation is a departure point to consider accepted and considered views on the nature of reality.... Reviewed by Tom Schulte on 07/28/2019. Read the rest of the review at The Mathematical Association of America.

A fascinating overview of ten equations that describe the richness of reality from the laws of physics that control the physical universe to counting alien civilizations in the biological universe. Using philosophically inspired, yet scientifically accurate language, Santhosh Mathew captures the essence of these fundamental equations and their implications for our understanding of reality as well as what might become of it in the next century.
Avi Loeb, Chair of the Astronomy Department, Harvard University and Founding Director, Black Hole Initiative (BHI)

One chapter of this book introduces us to the Shannon entropy which underpins information theory. One can derive information only if it is unknown, since what is known is fixed and provides little or no new information. Does the quest for a complete explanation of the laws of physics then reduce the probability of new laws being found and proposed? If more is known about our existence, then will there be fewer future surprises? Physical laws and their mathematical representations express the beauty of our universe and underpin the universe. It is up to us to harness these laws for the greater good and prevent injurious applications.
Ishwar K. Puri, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

About the Author

Santhosh Mathew, PhD, is a professor, researcher, and science writer who tries to decode science for those with an aversion to it. He has written extensively on contemporary scientific topics and authored two earlier books. His research interests include developments in modern physics, mathematics, and cosmology. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Regis College, a Catholic University in Greater Boston.