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

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9780285637436: The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry

What do the music of J. S. Bach, the basic forces of nature, Rubik's Cube, and the selection of mates have in common? They are all characterized by certain symmetries. Symmetry is the concept that bridges the gap between science and art, between the world of theoretical physics and the everyday world we see around us. Yet the "language" of symmetry--group theory in mathematics--emerged from a most unlikely source: an equation that couldn't be solved.Over the millennia, mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations until they came to what is known as the quintic equation. For several centuries it resisted solution, until two mathematical prodigies independently discovered that it could not be solved by the usual methods, thereby opening the door to group theory. These young geniuses, a Norwegian named Niels Henrik Abel and a Frenchman named Evariste Galois, both died tragically. Galois, in fact, spent the night before his fatal duel (at the age of twenty) scribbling another brief summary of his proof, at one point writing in the margin of his notebook "I have no time."The story of the equation that couldn't be solved is a story of brilliant mathematicians and a fascinating account of how mathematics illuminates a wide variety of disciplines. In this lively, engaging book, Mario Livio shows in an easily accessible way how group theory explains the symmetry and order of both the natural and the human-made worlds.

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From the Publisher:

"Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the apparently remote concerns of pure mathematics can lead too deep and practical insights into the natural world." --Ian Stewart, author of DOES GOD PLAY DICE?

"A highly readable and illuminating book." --Sir Michael Atiyah, Abel Prize in Mathematics Laureate 2004

About the Author:

Mario Livio is a Senior Astronomer and the former Head of the Science Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the institute that conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from Tel Aviv University in Israel and was a professor in the Physics Department at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology from 1981 to 1991, when he joined STScI. Dr. Livio has published more than 400 scientific papers and has received numerous awards for research and for excellence in teaching. He is the author of The Golden Ratio, a highly acclaimed book about mathematics and art for which he received the International Pythagoras Prize and the Peano Prize, and The Accelerating Universe.

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Livio, Mario
Editorial: Souvenir Press Ltd (2006)
ISBN 10: 0285637436 ISBN 13: 9780285637436
Usado Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Bookbarn International
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Descripción Souvenir Press Ltd, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Good. Dust Jacket Included. Sent within 24 hours. Expedited UK delivery available. Nº de ref. de la librería BBI2343572

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Mario Livio
Editorial: Souvenir Press Ltd 16/03/2006 (2006)
ISBN 10: 0285637436 ISBN 13: 9780285637436
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Descripción Souvenir Press Ltd 16/03/2006, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Good. A good clean copy throughout. The rear of the dust jacket has a couple of slice marks from a knife when opening a box, otherwise fine. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería 016542-6

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Livio Mario
Editorial: Souvenir Press Ltd (2006)
ISBN 10: 0285637436 ISBN 13: 9780285637436
Usado Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Books Express
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Descripción Souvenir Press Ltd, 2006. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Nº de ref. de la librería 0285637436

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