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Published: 04 September 2007

272 Pages | 12 halftones & line illus.

5 x 7-1/2 inches

ISBN: 9780192807236

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Bookseller Code (06)

Symmetry and the Monster

The Story of One of the Greatest Quests of Mathematics

Mark Ronan

Mathematics is driven forward by the quest to solve a small number of major problems--the four most famous challenges being Fermat's Last Theorem, the Riemann Hypothesis, Poincare's Conjecture, and the quest to understand the "Monster" of Symmetry. Now, in an exciting, fast-paced historical narrative ranging across two centuries, Mark Ronan takes us on an exhilarating tour of this final mathematical quest.
After a tour of the history of this mathematical question, Ronan, who personally knows the individuals now working on this problem, describes how the Monster was revealed as a beautiful form that pointed out deep connections between symmetry, string theory, and the very fabric and form of the universe. This story of discovery involves extraordinary characters, and Mark Ronan brings these people to life, vividly recreating the growing excitement of what became the biggest joint project ever in the field of mathematics. Vibrantly written, Symmetry and the Monster is a must-read for all fans of popular science.