Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature

Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature

by Marcus du Sautoy

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Overview

Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature by Marcus du Sautoy

Symmetry is all around us. Our eyes and minds are drawn to symmetrical objects, from the pyramid to the pentagon. Of fundamental significance to the way we interpret the world, this unique, pervasive phenomenon indicates a dynamic relationship between objects. In chemistry and physics, the concept of symmetry explains the structure of crystals or the theory of fundamental particles; in evolutionary biology, the natural world exploits symmetry in the fight for survival; and symmetry—and the breaking of it—is central to ideas in art, architecture, and music.

Combining a rich historical narrative with his own personal journey as a mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy takes a unique look into the mathematical mind as he explores deep conjectures about symmetry and brings us face-to-face with the oddball mathematicians, both past and present, who have battled to understand symmetry's elusive qualities. He explores what is perhaps the most exciting discovery to date—the summit of mathematicians' mastery in the field—the Monster, a huge snowflake that exists in 196,883-dimensional space with more symmetries than there are atoms in the sun.

What is it like to solve an ancient mathematical problem in a flash of inspiration? What is it like to be shown, ten minutes later, that you've made a mistake? What is it like to see the world in mathematical terms, and what can that tell us about life itself? In Symmetry, Marcus du Sautoy investigates these questions and shows mathematical novices what it feels like to grapple with some of the most complex ideas the human mind can comprehend.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060789411
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/03/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 796,706
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Marcus du Sautoy is a professor of mathematics and the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is a frequent contributor on mathematics to The Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, and he lives in London.

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Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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GASP!!