Symmetry: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | June 10, 2013

byIan Stewart

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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 theentire 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 inthe current search to unify relativity and quantum theory.

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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 theentire subject. Symmetry governs the structu...

Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University. He is a well-established communicator of mathematics, and the author of over 80 books, including several on the subject of symmetry. His summary of the problems of mathematics, From Here to Infinity, and collections of his columns from Scientific American (How to C...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:152 pagesPublished:June 10, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199651981

ISBN - 13:9780199651986

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. What is symmetry?2. Origins of symmetry3. Types of symmetry4. Structure of groups5. Groups and games6. Nature's patterns7. Nature's laws8. Atoms of symmetryFurther readingReferences