The Magic Numbers of Dr Matrix by Martin Gardner

The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix draws us into the intriguing and fascinating world of numbers and number theory. “Numbers, you know, have a mysterious life of their own. It would be naive,” claims Dr. Matrix, “to suppose that there is such a thing as a randomly arranged group of symbols.” Consider, for example, the decimal expansion of pi. Long considered a random series, it is actually rich with remarkable patterns. “Correctly interpreted,” says Dr. Matrix, “pi conveys the entire history of the human race.” Dr. Matrix uncovers patterns and signs that will astound you. As Dr. Matrix demonstrates, we need only look to find clues all around us in number and language “coincidences” that will unlock the mysteries of the universe.

In The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix, Martin Gardner introduces us to this extraordinary man, Dr. Irving Joshua Matrix. Believed by many to be the greatest numerologist who ever lived, Dr. Matrix claims to be a reincarnation of Pythagoras. He was, however, completely unknown to the scientific community until Gardner wrote about him in Scientific American in 1960. That first report and the subsequent ones that appeared with each new encounter are collected here in their entirety. We follow Dr. Matrix as he roams the world and assumes new identities and discovers new manifestations of the power of numbers to explain and predict and entertain. Always at his side is his beautiful Eurasian daughter, Iva, who abets and protects her father in each new adventure.

As you delve into The Magic Numbers of Dr. Matrix, you will master some significant combinatorial mathematics and number theory. The many remarkable puzzles of Dr. Matrix are all clearly answered in the back of the book, together with commentary and references by Gardner to enlighten the uninitiated and entertain the inquiring reader.

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