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Symmetry: A Journey Into the Patterns of Nature Hardcover – 1 Mar 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
£19.75 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060789409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060789404
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,436,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Marcus du Sautoy is a professor of mathematics and the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is a frequent contributor on mathematics to The Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, and he lives in London. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had just finished "Finding Moonshine" from the same author and I ordered "Symmetry" only to find out when I received it that it was the same book. It is disappointing that it wasn't stated anywhere. Anyway the book is great
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am interested in group theory, and bought this book under the impression that it discussed simple group theory in a way that an amateur like me would be able to understand.

I am sure this author could have written such a book, but this isn't it. It has been dumbed down far too much (I suspect at the insistence of the publisher). He avoids simple group theory terminology, so instead of writing about "how many groups there are with 27 elements", he has "how many objects there are with 27 symmetries", which isn't going to help anyone, and is going to confuse those who understand just a little of his subject matter. Yet he mentions zeta functions several times, though without any clue as to what they are.

In chapter three he states, repeatedly, that the Alhambra palace contains examples of all 17 symmetries (he means wallpaper groups); and there are pictures of some of them. I wonder why he chose not to have a page or two illustrating all 17? This would have been interesting, or at least fun to look at, for all readers, however dumb the publisher takes them to be.

The best feature of the book is not its abortive attempts to discuss mathematics, but its anecdotes about mathematicians. If these are what you want, the book is worth buying.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is very little science and mathematics, it's more a historical account of the scientific characters involved in the discoveries and gets into a very tedious narrative. Very deceptive title as it does not make an effort to explain much at all about symmetry and group theory. I have read much better popular accounts of symmetry and the theory. Extremely disappointing!
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