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# The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry

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What do Bach's compositions, Rubik's Cube, the way we choose our mates, and the physics of subatomic particles have in common? All are governed by the laws of symmetry, which elegantly unify scientific and artistic principles. Yet the mathematical language of symmetry-known as group theory-did not emerge from the study of symmetry at all, but from an equation that couldn't
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## Get A Copy

Paperback, 368 pages

Published
September 1st 2006
by Simon Schuster
(first published 2005)

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Start your review of The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry

Livio traces the development in mathematics over the broad strokes of history. It is a history of brilliant minds solving progressively more difficult algebraic equatio ...more

they had made impressive upon the human being from math. .

There are lots of games coming from symmetry.

ex. tetris

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris

Polyomino

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyomino

15 puzzle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle

Rubik's Cube

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubik%2...

etc.............

you can play every games coming from symmetry. LOL LOL LOL ...more

How fascinating! What an intriguing start to the new year!

Because it's not really a book about math, it's a book about mathematicians. Very different subject, really. There is the baffling tale, which I'm still not certain if I believe, that in 1500's Venice, mathematicians would face off ...more

The history of math parts were really interesting.

The exposition of Galois theory left a lot to be desired. It might be too complex for a lay book, but there's a lot about symmetry and physics that's presented at the level of "trust me, it works this way"!

The evolutionary bio bits were even worse.

I bet Ian Stewart's book on symmetry is better, but I'm all symmetried out for now.

This book takes the same approach as many other similar books, focusing on the history (tragic in the case of Galois and Abel) and personalities, rather than the details of the mathematics.

This is a delightful read!

Highly recommended!

The subject matter is a bit over my head, but the writing is very good, the explanations understandable at a basic level, and the subjects interesting.

And now I know and have a basic understanding of mathematical symmetry and how it and group theory have been applied to physics to reach the current theories that I have run into periodially.

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In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...

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“The key point to keep in mind, however, is that symmetry is one of the most important tools in deciphering nature's design.”
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5 likes

“Through the works of Weinberg, Glashow, and Salam on the electroweak theory and the elegant framework developed by the physicists David Gross, David Politzer, and Frank Wilczek for quantum chromodynamics, the characteristic group of the standard model has been identified with a product of three Lie groups denoted by U(1), SU(2), and SU(3). In some sense, therefore, the road toward the ultimate unification of the forces of nature has to go through the discovery of the most suitable Lie group that contains the product U(1) X SU(2) x SU(3).”
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2 likes

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