Why Beauty is Truth: A History of Symmetry – Ian Stewart
Thoughts: I found Why Beauty is Truth not to be nearly as interesting as the other book of Stewart’s I’ve read, Visions of Infinity. After the first chapter or two, I skimmed until the middle of the book, then read to the end. Upon finishing it, I had a bit of a better idea what symmetry is, what various mathematical concepts like quaternions are, etc.
(The notes below are not a summary of the book, but rather raw notes - whatever I thought, at the time, might be worth remembering.)
Stewart, Ian. 2007. Why Beauty is Truth: A History of Symmetry. Basic Books.
- 24: “Mathematics does not assert that some statement is true: it asserts that if we make various assumptions, then the statement concerned must be a logical consequence.”
Posted: Nov 30, 2022. Last updated: Aug 31, 2023.