The Symmetries of Things
Author: John H. Conway, Heidi Burgiel, Chaim Goodman-Strauss
Publisher: CRC Press
Start with a single shape. Repeat it in some way—translation, reflection over a line, rotation around a point—and you have created symmetry. Symmetry is a fundamental phenomenon in art, science, and nature that has been captured, described, and analyzed using mathematical concepts for a long time. Inspired by the geometric intuition of Bill Thurston and empowered by his own analytical skills, John Conway, with his coauthors, has developed a comprehensive mathematical theory of symmetry that allows the description and classification of symmetries in numerous geometric environments. This richly and compellingly illustrated book addresses the phenomenological, analytical, and mathematical aspects of symmetry on three levels that build on one another and will speak to interested lay people, artists, working mathematicians, and researchers.
Author: Kristopher Tapp
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This textbook is perfect for a math course for non-math majors, with the goal of encouraging effective analytical thinking and exposing students to elegant mathematical ideas. It includes many topics commonly found in sampler courses, like Platonic solids, Euler’s formula, irrational numbers, countable sets, permutations, and a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. All of these topics serve a single compelling goal: understanding the mathematical patterns underlying the symmetry that we observe in the physical world around us. The exposition is engaging, precise and rigorous. The theorems are visually motivated with intuitive proofs appropriate for the intended audience. Students from all majors will enjoy the many beautiful topics herein, and will come to better appreciate the powerful cumulative nature of mathematics as these topics are woven together into a single fascinating story about the ways in which objects can be symmetric.
When scientists peer through a telescope at the distant stars in outer space or use a particle-accelerator to analyze the smallest components of matter, they discover that the same laws of physics govern the whole universe at all times and all places. Physicists call the eternal, ubiquitous constancy of the laws of physics symmetry. Symmetry is the basic underlying principle that defines the laws of nature and hence controls the universe. This all-important insight is one of the great conceptual breakthroughs in modern physics and is the basis of contemporary efforts to discover a grand unified theory to explain all the laws of physics. Nobel Laureate Leon M. Lederman and physicist Christopher T. Hill explain the supremely elegant concept of symmetry and all its profound ramifications to life on Earth and the universe at large in this eloquent, accessible popular science book. They not only clearly describe concepts normally reserved only for physicists and mathematicians, but they also instill an appreciation for the profound beauty of the universe’s inherent design. Central to the story of symmetry is an obscure, unpretentious, but extremely gifted German mathematician named Emmy Noether. Though still little known to the world, she impressed no less a scientist than Albert Einstein, who praised her "penetrating mathematical thinking." In some of her earliest work she proved that the law of the conservation of energy was connected to the idea of symmetry and thus laid the mathematical groundwork for what may be the most important concept of modern physics. Lederman and Hill reveal concepts about the universe, based on Noether’s work, that are largely unknown to the public and have wide-reaching implications in connection with the Big Bang, Einstein’s theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, and many other areas of physics. Through ingenious analogies and illustrations, they bring these astounding notions to life. This book will open your eyes to a universe you never knew existed. From the Trade Paperback edition.
On Numbers and Games
Author: John H. Conway
Publisher: CRC Press
ONAG, as the book is commonly known, is one of those rare publications that sprang to life in a moment of creative energy and has remained influential for over a quarter of a century. Originally written to define the relation between the theories of transfinite numbers and mathematical games, the resulting work is a mathematically sophisticated but eminently enjoyable guide to game theory. By defining numbers as the strengths of positions in certain games, the author arrives at a new class, the surreal numbers, that includes both real numbers and ordinal numbers. These surreal numbers are applied in the author's mathematical analysis of game strategies. The additions to the Second Edition present recent developments in the area of mathematical game theory, with a concentration on surreal numbers and the additive theory of partizan games.
Author: Paul Preuss
Publisher: Diversion Books
"Paul Preuss has done a fine thing. He has written a magnificent book in BROKEN SYMMETRIES. I admire his knowledge and artistry." —Roger Zelazny BROKEN SYMMETRIES introduces theoretical physicist Peter Slater and world-traveling photojournalist Anne-Marie Brand. They meet in Hawaii, where Anne-Marie is in pursuit of a story about the giant atom-smasher TERAC, the newest and biggest particle accelerator in the world, built amidst the pineapple fields of Oahu. Dr. Martin Edovich is the triumphant scientist behind the project—he claims that "his" discovery of I-particles will win him the Nobel Prize and change the face of physics. But Peter Slater predicted the existence of I-particles long ago and suspects that they are unstable—explosive and potentially cataclysmic. And as TERAC ramps up, Slater’s theory is about to be tested. The symmetries of matter itself are about to be unexpectedly broken, unleashing the fury of self-annihilation...
Author: David Wade
Publisher: Wooden Books
Why on earth do cars have the same symmetry as dragonflies? Is there really a beautiful swirling pattern lurking in every dripping tap? What do insect eggs have in common with planets, and why? In this exquisite book, the smallest and most concise ever produced, designer David Wade introduces the main principles of symmetry, and shows how, despite opinions over exactly what it is, symmetry can be found in almost every corner of science, nature and human culture. WOODEN BOOKS are small but packed with information. "Fascinating" FINANCIAL TIMES. "Beautiful" LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS. "Rich and Artful" THE LANCET. "Genuinely mind-expanding" FORTEAN TIMES. "Excellent" NEW SCIENTIST. "Stunning" NEW YORK TIMES. Small books, big ideas.
Author: Hermann Weyl
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Symmetry is a classic study of symmetry in mathematics, the sciences, nature, and art from one of the twentieth century's greatest mathematicians. Hermann Weyl explores the concept of symmetry beginning with the idea that it represents a harmony of proportions, and gradually departs to examine its more abstract varieties and manifestations—as bilateral, translatory, rotational, ornamental, and crystallographic. Weyl investigates the general abstract mathematical idea underlying all these special forms, using a wealth of illustrations as support. Symmetry is a work of seminal relevance that explores the great variety of applications and importance of symmetry.
Number, Shape, & Symmetry
Author: Diane L. Herrmann, Paul J. Sally, Jr.
Publisher: CRC Press
Through a careful treatment of number theory and geometry, Number, Shape, & Symmetry: An Introduction to Number Theory, Geometry, and Group Theory helps readers understand serious mathematical ideas and proofs. Classroom-tested, the book draws on the authors’ successful work with undergraduate students at the University of Chicago, seventh to tenth grade mathematically talented students in the University of Chicago’s Young Scholars Program, and elementary public school teachers in the Seminars for Endorsement in Science and Mathematics Education (SESAME). The first half of the book focuses on number theory, beginning with the rules of arithmetic (axioms for the integers). The authors then present all the basic ideas and applications of divisibility, primes, and modular arithmetic. They also introduce the abstract notion of a group and include numerous examples. The final topics on number theory consist of rational numbers, real numbers, and ideas about infinity. Moving on to geometry, the text covers polygons and polyhedra, including the construction of regular polygons and regular polyhedra. It studies tessellation by looking at patterns in the plane, especially those made by regular polygons or sets of regular polygons. The text also determines the symmetry groups of these figures and patterns, demonstrating how groups arise in both geometry and number theory. The book is suitable for pre-service or in-service training for elementary school teachers, general education mathematics or math for liberal arts undergraduate-level courses, and enrichment activities for high school students or math clubs.
Author: Frank A. Farris
Publisher: Princeton University Press
This lavishly illustrated book provides a hands-on, step-by-step introduction to the intriguing mathematics of symmetry. Instead of breaking up patterns into blocks—a sort of potato-stamp method—Frank Farris offers a completely new waveform approach that enables you to create an endless variety of rosettes, friezes, and wallpaper patterns: dazzling art images where the beauty of nature meets the precision of mathematics. Featuring more than 100 stunning color illustrations and requiring only a modest background in math, Creating Symmetry begins by addressing the enigma of a simple curve, whose curious symmetry seems unexplained by its formula. Farris describes how complex numbers unlock the mystery, and how they lead to the next steps on an engaging path to constructing waveforms. He explains how to devise waveforms for each of the 17 possible wallpaper types, and then guides you through a host of other fascinating topics in symmetry, such as color-reversing patterns, three-color patterns, polyhedral symmetry, and hyperbolic symmetry. Along the way, Farris demonstrates how to marry waveforms with photographic images to construct beautiful symmetry patterns as he gradually familiarizes you with more advanced mathematics, including group theory, functional analysis, and partial differential equations. As you progress through the book, you'll learn how to create breathtaking art images of your own. Fun, accessible, and challenging, Creating Symmetry features numerous examples and exercises throughout, as well as engaging discussions of the history behind the mathematics presented in the book.
Author: Avner Ash, Robert Gross
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Mathematicians solve equations, or try to. But sometimes the solutions are not as interesting as the beautiful symmetric patterns that lead to them. Written in a friendly style for a general audience, Fearless Symmetry is the first popular math book to discuss these elegant and mysterious patterns and the ingenious techniques mathematicians use to uncover them. Hidden symmetries were first discovered nearly two hundred years ago by French mathematician évariste Galois. They have been used extensively in the oldest and largest branch of mathematics--number theory--for such diverse applications as acoustics, radar, and codes and ciphers. They have also been employed in the study of Fibonacci numbers and to attack well-known problems such as Fermat's Last Theorem, Pythagorean Triples, and the ever-elusive Riemann Hypothesis. Mathematicians are still devising techniques for teasing out these mysterious patterns, and their uses are limited only by the imagination. The first popular book to address representation theory and reciprocity laws, Fearless Symmetry focuses on how mathematicians solve equations and prove theorems. It discusses rules of math and why they are just as important as those in any games one might play. The book starts with basic properties of integers and permutations and reaches current research in number theory. Along the way, it takes delightful historical and philosophical digressions. Required reading for all math buffs, the book will appeal to anyone curious about popular mathematics and its myriad contributions to everyday life.
Symmetry is an immensely important concept in mathematics and throughout the sciences. In this Very Short Introduction, Ian Stewart highlights the deep implications of symmetry and its important scientific applications across the entire subject.
Author: Peter R. Cromwell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book comprehensively documents the many and varied ways that polyhedra have come to the fore throughout the development of mathematics.
Symmetries, coupled with the mathematical concept of group theory, are an essential conceptual backbone in the formulation of quantum field theories capable of describing the world of elementary particles. This primer is an introduction to and survey of the underlying concepts and structures needed in order to understand and handle these powerful tools. Specifically, in Part I of the book the symmetries and related group theoretical structures of the Minkowskian space-time manifold are analyzed, while Part II examines the internal symmetries and their related unitary groups, where the interactions between fundamental particles are encoded as we know them from the present standard model of particle physics. This book, based on several courses given by the authors, addresses advanced graduate students and non-specialist researchers wishing to enter active research in the field, and having a working knowledge of classical field theory and relativistic quantum mechanics. Numerous end-of-chapter problems and their solutions will facilitate the use of this book as self-study guide or as course book for topical lectures.
Author: R. McWeeny
Symmetry: An Introduction to Group Theory and its Application is an eight-chapter text that covers the fundamental bases, the development of the theoretical and experimental aspects of the group theory. Chapter 1 deals with the elementary concepts and definitions, while Chapter 2 provides the necessary theory of vector spaces. Chapters 3 and 4 are devoted to an opportunity of actually working with groups and representations until the ideas already introduced are fully assimilated. Chapter 5 looks into the more formal theory of irreducible representations, while Chapter 6 is concerned largely with quadratic forms, illustrated by applications to crystal properties and to molecular vibrations. Chapter 7 surveys the symmetry properties of functions, with special emphasis on the eigenvalue equation in quantum mechanics. Chapter 8 covers more advanced applications, including the detailed analysis of tensor properties and tensor operators. This book is of great value to mathematicians, and math teachers and students.
Why Beauty Is Truth
Author: Ian Stewart
Publisher: Basic Books