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In Our Own Image: Personal Symmetry in Discovery (Paperback)
  • In Our Own Image: Personal Symmetry in Discovery (Paperback)
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In Our Own Image: Personal Symmetry in Discovery (Paperback)

(author), (author)
£67.99
Paperback 235 Pages / Published: 17/10/2012
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The title of our volume refers to what is well described by the following two quota- tions:"Godcreated man in his own image"l and "Man creates God in his own image."2 Our approach to symmetry is subjective, and the term "personal" symmetry reflects this approach in our discussion of selected scientific events. We have chosen six icons to symbolize six areas: Kepler for modeling, Fuller for new molecules, Pauling for helical structures, Kitaigorodskii for packing, Bernal for quasicrystals, and Curie for dissymmetry. For the past three decades we have been involved in learning, thinking, speaking, and writing about symmetry. This involvement has augmented our principal activities in molecular structure research. Our interest in symmetry had started with a simple fascination and has evolved into a highly charged personal topic for us. At the start of this volume, we had had several authored and edited symmetry related books behind 3 us. We owe a debt of gratitude to the numerous people whose interviews are quoted 4 in this volume. We very much appreciate the kind and gracious cooperation of Edgar J. Applewhite (Washington, DC), Lawrence S. Bartell (University of Michigan), R.

Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
ISBN: 9781461368748
Number of pages: 235
Weight: 493 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 x 13 mm
Edition: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 200


MEDIA REVIEWS
`Istvan and Magdolna Hargittai have written a dazzling book on symmetry in all its complex and beautiful variety, especially on its central role in today's science. ... It is a delight to read and ponder, sure to become a classic reference on a concept as fundamental to physics and chemistry as it has always been to aesthetics.'
Martin Gardner, Formerly of Scientific American, author of The New Ambidextrous Universe
`The book departs from the standard types of history in that it brings in the personalities of the people who have made great advances in our understanding of structures, inorganic, organic, and biological The stories bring out the personal side of scientific discoveries with the hurdles, obstacles, side steps, and controversies; and this makes for a most lively book quite different from a more conventional academic history of the subjects tackled. ... The book can appeal to a wide range of readers who are guaranteed not to find a dull page.'
Sir Aaron Klug, Nobel Laureate, President of the Royal Society (London)
`A book which should fascinate every reader.'
Torvald Laurent, Chairman of Trustees, Nobel Foundation, Stockholm
`An informative and highly original account ... in terms of the people who made the big conceptual advances. Kepler, Fuller, Pauling, Bernal, Curie, Kroto ... all come to life in this unusual and effective synthesis of science and biographical journalism. The authors' love of their topics shines through on every page. Marvelous!'
Ian Stewart, Scientific American
`Istvan and Magdolna Hargittai have written a richly textured and entertaining work based on a personal curiosity about the role of symmetry in life, and particularly in the sciences. ... The topics are as varied as the science itself. Anyone reading it will never again look on science, art, or nature with quite the same eyes.'
Sir John Cornforth, Nobel Laureate, University of Sussex, England
`They follow, in fascinating detail, lines of development where the relaxation of an imposed or imagined symmetry has led to the deepening of scientific insight... There is always a wonderful interplay between scientific and artistic endeavors... The story is fascinatingly instructive, and displays scintillating gems of scientific thought. Written by avid collectors of oral history, the book includes lengthy quotations from interviews with contemporary scientists, some evidently published here for the first time. These quotations bring the story to life, and generate insights that could not be gained from reading the scientific literature... Each chapter is dedicated to an iconic figure of science and art, and contains a series of linked short essays. Like the faces of a polyhedron, the subject matter of one essay fits closely to several others, and the authors have personally chosen a structure that is fascinatingly non-symmetrical.'
Nature (August 2000)

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