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The concept of symmetry has seen increasing service in science popularizations as a metaphor to convey the intuitive appeal of physics, a vogue that continues in this dense treatise. Nobel Laureate Lederman (The God Particle) and theoretical physicist Hill deploy mathematical symmetry as a unifying theme in a tour of physics from Newton's laws to quarks and superstrings. Sometimes, as in a demonstration that the invariance of physical laws through time implies the law of conservation of energy, this approach yields insights. But usually, as in their confusing exposition of special relativity, symmetry considerations get in the way. The authors keep things readable with lots of physics-for-poets bits, including some tie-ins to environmentalism, comparisons of modern cosmology with ancient Greek myths, and a fictional dialogue—partly in Italian—between two newlywed physicists and Galileo's ghost. Unfortunately, symmetry is a forbiddingly abstract branch of mathematics that was peripheral to the development of much of physics and gives little tangible feel for its substance, and the point where it becomes indispensable to discussions of modern physics is also the tipping point where the book, like many others, topples into total incomprehensibility to laypeople. Readers who think symmetry implies clarity and grace will be disappointed. Photos.
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"A tour de force of physics made simple...."
— Times Literary Supplement
“Few books about modern physics are as fascinating, far-ranging, and readable as this. It would be appreciated by anyone interested in the nature of science and the beauty of the universe…."
— NSTA Recommends
"A compelling and accessible discussion….”
— Science Books & Films
Read this twice. A great overview of unifying principle of symmetry. Lots of food for thought. Mildly challenging for those of us who are not students of physics, but accessible... Read morePublished 8 months ago by J. C. Wheeler
These authors are very engaging. They talk physics to the non-scientist as much as you can. While there are some areas that require a few readings to get the gist, most of this... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Pat
As usual, Leon Lederman wrote very well for non-professional people. This is the best book to discuss the symmetry and symmetry broken. It helped me on understanding the subject.Published 13 months ago by Gongda Yao
Once it was said that a Mozart's opus had too many notes.
As Mozart was a musical genius, I guess this remark is plainly wrong. Read more
This is a bit more esoteric than Quantum Physics for Poets and gets harder to follow as it goes on.Published 20 months ago by Kaiser
Here is an avenue whereby science and religion may converge. " Through Symmetry we sense an apparent logic at work in the universe, external to, yet resonant with our own... Read morePublished 21 months ago by James Green
The book is great, but the Kindle OCR version is a disaster. There are so many errors, particularly in the equations, that it is almost unreadable. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robert Mark
Well written with great clarity for those not formally trained in physics. I also highly recommend "Quantum Physics for Poets".Published on June 19, 2013 by Light928
Let me begin that Profs. Lederman and Hill have provided a clear, linear explanation symmetry and momentum. Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by D. Zigler