During the economic meltdown of 2008, many of the mathematicians and software engineers on Wall Street were baffled when their abstract concepts failed in practice. Taking us from fin-de-siècle Paris to Rat Pack–era Las Vegas, from wartime government labs to yippie communes on the Pacific coast, James Weatherall shows how physicists can successfully bring their science to bear on some of the thorniest problems in economics, from options pricing to bubbles.
"Weatherall's rollicking tale of science and profit has relevance to us all. He goes beyond the 'Frankenstein's monster' cliché to argue that mathematical models are an essential foundation of a saner future."—William Poundstone