Why Beauty Is Truth: The History of SymmetryAt the heart of relativity theory, quantum mechanics, string theory, and much of modern cosmology lies one concept: symmetry. In Why Beauty Is Truth, worldfamous mathematician Ian Stewart narrates the history of the emergence of this remarkable area of study. Stewart introduces us to such characters as the Renaissance Italian genius, rogue, scholar, and gambler Girolamo Cardano, who stole the modern method of solving cubic equations and published it in the first important book on algebra, and the young revolutionary Evariste Galois, who refashioned the whole of mathematics and founded the field of group theory only to die in a pointless duel over a woman before his work was published. Stewart also explores the strange numerology of real mathematics, in which particular numbers have unique and unpredictable properties related to symmetry. He shows how Wilhelm Killing discovered "Lie groups" with 14, 52, 78, 133, and 248 dimensionsgroups whose very existence is a profound puzzle. Finally, Stewart describes the world beyond superstrings: the "octonionic" symmetries that may explain the very existence of the universe. 
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LibraryThing Review
Recensione dell'utente  dcunning11235  LibraryThingThis was, as advertised, a history of symmetry; I feel that I did not get a good understanding for what exactly symmetry is, in a more advanced sense, however, which is partially what I was after ... Leggi recensione completa
LibraryThing Review
Recensione dell'utente  Cheryl_in_CC_NV  LibraryThingThe author messed up. He frets aloud about giving us layreaders too much math, and still apparently didn't get a layperson to edit it for him. He avoids giving us equations, choosing instead to ... Leggi recensione completa