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Why Beauty Is Truth: A History of Symmetry.


The concept of symmetry has been pondered for thousands of years. Its elegance and beauty have their roots in mathematics, writes Stewart, a professor of mathematics at the University of warwick. The ancient Babylonians developed quadratic equations, the first mathematical representations of symmetry. Starting there, Stewart traces the timeline of mathematical discovery and innovation relating to symmetry, introducing important mathematical concepts and the historic figures behind them. Stewart uses clear language to explain the often-complex mathematics behind symmetry. He even guides readers through the intellectual maze of how symmetry might reconcile Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity with quantum theory. Finally, he explains the concepts behind supersymmetry and superstrings, which may eventually yield a theory explaining all the forces of the universe. Basic, 2007, 290 p., b&w illus., hardcover, $26.95.
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Title Annotation:Books: A selection of new and notable books of scientific interest
Publication:Science News
Date:May 12, 2007
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