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# Symmetry

By Hermann Weyl

## Description

*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.

## About the author

Hermann Weyl held the chair of mathematics at Zyrich Technische Hochschule from 1913 to 1930; from 1930 to 1933 he held the chair of mathematics at the University of Göttingen; and from 1933 until he retired in 1952 he was a Permanent Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

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### Symmetry - Hermann Weyl

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### What people think about Symmetry

4.3### Reader reviews

- (4/5)Hermann Weyl's book on symmetry is a good companion to John Conway's recent book on same subject with the title The Symmetries of Things. Conway has more details and more pictures, but Weyl gives a better verbal description of the basic ideas involved, especially the philosophical concepts. From Weyl we get the idea of the analogy between Galois theory and relativity theory based on their reliance on symmetry expressed by groups and invariants (p. 138 in my 2009 reprint). Another gem is the assertion that all a priori results in physics are due to symmetry (p.126). A rather controversial concept is that objectivity (reality?) relies on invariance (p. 132) and hence symmetry.. On a different level, this book has a good discussion of the relations between the various planar and spatial symmetries such as the space groups and the point (lattice) groups of crystal structure. Numerous minor facts (such as the constructability of a 17 sided regular polygon with ruler and compass) salt the main flow of deep philosophical nourishment.