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Symmetry: A Very Short Introduction [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the 1800s mathematicians introduced a formal theory of symmetry: group theory. Now a branch of abstract algebra, this subject first arose in the theory of equations. Symmetry is an immensely important concept in mathematics and throughout the sciences, and its applications range across the entire subject. Symmetry governs the structure of crystals, innumerable types of pattern formation, how systems change ...
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Symmetry: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

In the 1800s mathematicians introduced a formal theory of symmetry: group theory. Now a branch of abstract algebra, this subject first arose in the theory of equations. Symmetry is an immensely important concept in mathematics and throughout the sciences, and its applications range across the entire subject. Symmetry governs the structure of crystals, innumerable types of pattern formation, how systems change their state as parameters vary; and fundamental physics is governed by
symmetries in the laws of nature.

It is highly visual, with applications that include animal markings, locomotion, evolutionary biology, elastic buckling, waves, the shape of the Earth, and the form of galaxies. In this Very Short Introduction, Ian Stewart demonstrates its deep implications, and shows how it plays a major role in the current search to unify relativity and quantum theory.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In his usual manner, noted mathematician and prolific writer Stewart shares mathematical ideas in an enjoyable context. Overall, a good read for anyone wanting to know about symmetries. Highly recommended." -J. Johnson, Western Washington University, CHOICE

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191652752
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 5/30/2013
  • Series: Very Short Introductions
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 746,863
  • File size: 20 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University. He is the author of over 80 books, including Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos, Flatterland, From Here to Infinity, and several collections of his highly popular math columns from Scientific American. He won the Michael Faraday Prize in 1995 and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. What is symmetry?
2. Origins of symmetry
3. Types of symmetry
4. Structure of groups
5. Groups and games
6. Nature's patterns
7. Nature's laws
8. Atoms of symmetry
Further reading
References

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