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Title: The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry (APS Colloquium, 2006)

For thousands of years, mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, from the simple quadractic to the more complex quartic equation, yielding important insights along the wmore »ay. Then they were stumped by the quintic equation, which resisted solutions for three centuries, until two great prodigies independently proved that quaintic equations cannot be solved by simple formula. These geniuses, a young Norwegian named Niels Henrik Abel and an even younger Frenchman named Evariste Galois, both died tragically. Galois' work gave rise to group theory, the "language" that defines symmetry. Group theory explains much about the aesthetics of our world, from the choosing of mates to Rubik's cube, Bach's musical compositions, the physics of subatomic particles, and the popularity of Anna Kournikova. Some of the mysteries surrounding Galois' death, which have lingered for more than 170 years, are finally resolved in The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved. Livio will discuss this first popular-level book to explore group theory, not through abstract formulas but in a dramatic account of the lives and work of some of the greatest mathematicians in history.« less
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Title: The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry (APS Colloquium, 2006)
Authors:
Publication Date: 2006-09-06
OSTI Identifier: 1121891
DOE Contract Number: ACO2-06CH11357
Resource Type: Multimedia
Resource Relation: Conference: APS Colloquium Series, Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois (United States), presented on September 06, 2006
Research Org: ANL (Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States))
Sponsoring Org: USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Subject: 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING
Country of Publication: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 0:55:43
System Entry Date: 2016-01-28