Why Beauty is Truth
A History of Symmetry
By (author) Ian Stewart
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Why Beauty is Truth by Ian Stewart
Book DescriptionAt the heart of relativity theory, quantum mechanics, string theory, and much of modern cosmology lies one concept: symmetry. In Why Beauty Is Truth, world-famous 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 dimensions-groups 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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Book DetailsISBN: 9780465082377
(204mm x 135mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 1-May-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Ian Stewart
Beauty of Numbers in Nature, Paperback (April 2017)
The Beauty of Numbers in Nature is an illuminating vision of the cold laws of mathematics. Think zebra's stripes, complexities of a spider's web, the spirals in a sunflower head.
Infinity, Paperback (February 2017)
Ian Stewart considers the concept of infinity and the profound role it plays in mathematics, logic, physics, cosmology, and philosophy. He shows that working with infinity is not just an abstract, intellectual exercise, and analyses its important practical everyday applications.
Calculating the Cosmos, Hardback (October 2016)View all books by Ian Stewart
A prize-winning scientist uses mathematical modeling to explain the cosmos
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Author Biography - Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick and is well known for his writing and broadcasting about mathematics for nonspecialists. He has written over 140 research papers on such subjects as symmetry in dynamics, pattern formation, chaos, and mathematical biology, as well as numerous popular books, including Letters to a Young Mathematician, Does God Play Dice?, What Shape Is a Snowflake?, Nature's Numbers, The Annotated Flatland, and Flatterland. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. He lives in Coventry, England.
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