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p. 51. What is symmetry?locked

  • Ian Stewart


The concept of symmetry can be defined as a transformation of a mathematical structure, of a specified kind, that leaves specified properties of the structure unchanged. However, because a complete definition appears elusive, it is best explained through examples: wheels display circular symmetry; the shape of a rainbow is due to the rotational symmetry of refraction in rain droplets; and waves display a variety of symmetries. Symmetry is also observable in more abstract areas, such as game theory. Euclid proved symmetry without the concept of symmetry itself.

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