Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics

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Princeton University Press, 2007 - Science - 356 pages

An engaging exploration of beauty in physics, with a foreword by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Roger Penrose

The concept of symmetry has widespread manifestations and many diverse applications--from architecture to mathematics to science. Yet, as twentieth-century physics has revealed, symmetry has a special, central role in nature, one that is occasionally and enigmatically violated. Fearful Symmetry brings the incredible discoveries of the juxtaposition of symmetry and asymmetry in contemporary physics within everyone's grasp. A. Zee, a distinguished physicist and skillful expositor, tells the exciting story of how contemporary theoretical physicists are following Einstein in their search for the beauty and simplicity of Nature. Animated by a sense of reverence and whimsy, Fearful Symmetry describes the majestic sweep and accomplishments of twentieth-century physics--one of the greatest chapters in the intellectual history of humankind.

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Contents

In Search of Beauty
3
The Far Side of the Mirror
22
Marriage of Time and Space
51
Copyright

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