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Symmetry and the monster : one of the greatest quests of mathematics

Author: Mark Ronan
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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, Poincar'e's Conjecture, and the quest for 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. Ronan describes  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mark Ronan
ISBN: 9780192807229 0192807226
OCLC Number: 71007200
Description: vii, 255 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Contents: Prologue --
1 Theaetatus's icosahedron --
2 Galois: death of a genius --
3 Irrational solutions --
4 Groups --
5 Sophus lie --
6 Lie groups and physics --
7 Going finite --
8 After the war --
9 The man from uccle --
10 The big theorem --
11 Pandora's box --
12 The Leech lattice --
13 Fischer's monsters --
14 The atlas --
15 A monstrous mystery --
16 Construction --
17 Moonshine --
Notes --
Appendix 1: The golden section --
Appendix 2: The Witt design --
Appendix 3: The Leech lattice --
Appendix 4: The 26 exceptions.
Responsibility: Mark Ronan.
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Abstract:

The hunt for the 'Monster' of symmetry is one of the great mathematical quests. The Monster is a giant snowflake in 196,884 dimensions, with a beautiful structure which may turn out to unlock our  Read more...

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...includes entertaining glimpses of the personalities involved ...but best of all gives an admirable amount of detail... TLS a fascinating book that will appeal to anyone with an appetite for Read more...

 
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   schema:description "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, Poincar'e's Conjecture, and the quest for 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. Ronan describes how the quest to understand symmetry really began with the tragic young genius Evariste Galois, who died at the age of 20 in a duel. Galois, who spent the night before he died frantically scribbling his unpublished discoveries, used symmetry to understand algebraic equations, and he discovered that there were building blocks or "atoms of symmetry." Most of these building blocks fit into a table, rather like the periodic table of elements, but mathematicians have found 26 exceptions. The biggest of these was dubbed "the Monster"--A giant snowflake in 196,884 dimensions. Ronan, who personally knows the individuals now working on this problem, reveals how the Monster was only dimly seen at first. As more and more mathematicians became involved, the Monster became clearer, and it was found to be not monstrous but 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--and especially readers of such books as Fermat's Last Theorem."@en ;
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