*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 ...*

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Language: en

Pages: 368

Pages: 368

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

Language: vi

Pages: 420

Pages: 420

Language: en

Pages: 307

Pages: 307

Alexander shows how popular stories about mathematicians are really morality tales about their craft as it relates to the world. In the eighteenth century, he says, mathematicians were idealized as child-like, eternally curious; by the nineteenth century, brilliant mathematicians became Romantic heroes like poets, artists, and musicians.

Language: en

Pages:

Pages:

For thousands of years, mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, from the simple quadractic to the more complex quartic equation, yielding important insights along the way. Then they were stumped by the quintic equation, which resisted solutions for three centuries, until two great prodigies independently proved that quaintic equations

Language: en

Pages: 308

Pages: 308

This fascinating exploration of the great discoveries of history's most important mathematicians seeks an answer to the eternal question: Does mathematics hold the key to understanding the mysteries of the physical world? Illustrations throughout.