The equation that couldn't be solved: how mathematical genius discovered the language of symmetry

Book Cover
Average Rating
Simon & Schuster,
Pub. Date:
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 be solved. For thousands of years mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, until they encountered the quintic equation, which resisted solution for three centuries. Working independently, two great prodigies ultimately proved that the quintic cannot be solved by a simple formula. These geniuses, a Norwegian named Niels Henrik Abel and a romantic Frenchman named Évariste Galois, both died tragically young. Their incredible labor, however, produced the origins of group theory. The first extensive, popular account of the mathematics of symmetry and order, The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved is told not through abstract formulas but in a beautifully written and dramatic account of the lives and work of some of the greatest and most intriguing mathematicians in history.
More Details
Also in This Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 86d82ca6-e29b-9de5-bca0-1151e18a6348
Grouping Title equation that couldn t be solved how mathematical genius discovered the language of symmetry
Grouping Author livio mario
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-05-01 04:48:58AM
Last Indexed 2019-06-17 04:51:27AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Livio, Mario, 1945-
author_display Livio, Mario
available_at_arlington Central
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
display_description 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.
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id 86d82ca6-e29b-9de5-bca0-1151e18a6348
isbn 9780743258203
item_details ils:.b13285063|.i16655643|Central Adult Nonfiction|512.2 LIVIO|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Apr 30, 2019|can||
itype_arlington Hardback
last_indexed 2019-06-17T08:51:27.234Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 512.2 LIVIO
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
primary_isbn 9780743258203
publishDate 2005
record_details ils:.b13285063|Book|Books||English|Simon & Schuster,|2005.|x, 353 pages :^bill. ;^c ; 24.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b13285063 .i16655643 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 9999
subject_facet Diophantine analysis -- History, Galois theory -- History, Group theory -- History, Symmetric functions -- History, Symmetry (Mathematics) -- History
title_display The equation that couldn't be solved : how mathematical genius discovered the language of symmetry
title_full The equation that couldn't be solved : how mathematical genius discovered the language of symmetry / Mario Livio
title_short The equation that couldn't be solved :
title_sub how mathematical genius discovered the language of symmetry