Buy Used
CDN$ 7.86
+ CDN$ 0.00 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by USA MART
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry Hardcover – Sep 13 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
CDN$ 34.00 CDN$ 2.83

Strong Is the New Pretty

click to open popover

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (Sept. 13 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743258207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743258203
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.3 x 23.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,092,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
    If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

From Publishers Weekly

The idea of symmetry has been heavily deployed in recent science popularizations to introduce advanced subjects in math and physics. This approach usually backfires—mathematical symmetry is much too difficult for most laypeople to understand. But this engaging treatise soft-pedals it in a crowd-pleasing way. The title's formula is the "quintic" equation (involving x raised to the fifth power), the analysis of which gave rise to "group theory," the mathematical apparatus scientists use to explore symmetry. Inevitably, the author's attempts to explain group theory and its applications in particle physics and string theory to a general audience fall sadly short, so readers will just have to take his word for the Mozartean beauty of it all. Fortunately, astrophysicist Livio (The Golden Ratio) keeps the hard stuff to a minimum, concentrating instead on interesting digressions into human interest (e.g., the founder of group theory, Evariste Galois, was a revolutionary firebrand who died in 1832 at age 20 in a duel over "an infamous coquette"), pop psychology (women have more orgasms when their partners have symmetrical faces), strategies for finding a soul mate and some easy math puzzles readers might actually solve. The result is a somewhat shapeless but intriguing excursion. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

From the second-degree, or quadratic, equation taught in algebra, scale up to the fifth-degree, or quintic, equation to grasp astrophysicist Livio's topic. Because the general solution to quintic equations opened up the study of symmetry, which itself enlightens the study of biology, music, visual art, and particle physics, Livio is loaded with story material, none more interesting than biographies of two young mathematicians: Niels Henrik Abel (1802-29) and Evariste Galois (1811-32). Prodigies both, each suffered tragically, Abel dying of tuberculosis, Galois in a duel. Relating the stories of centuries of mathematicians defeated by the quintic equation, Livio captures the brilliant intuitions of Abel and Galois, who courageously dumped the fruitlessness of previous algebraic methods and mastered the quintic through ideas subsumed into group theory. This admirable presentation of a mathematical revolution will challenge general readers but will deliver ample rewards. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

See all Product description

Customer reviews

Share your thoughts with other customers
See all 1 customer reviews

Top customer reviews

September 17, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Most helpful customer reviews on 4.2 out of 5 stars 39 reviews
David H. Hawley
5.0 out of 5 starsClear and readable, should appeal to anyone with even a passing interest in mathematical history. You will be drawn in.
September 22, 2015 - Published on
Verified Purchase
K. in Texas
5.0 out of 5 stars... knack for explaining difficult mathematical concepts in clear and easy to understand language
April 18, 2016 - Published on
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
David Eger
5.0 out of 5 starsWell written it gives the history of the main characters ...
August 25, 2015 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Michael Steiner
4.0 out of 5 starsGood book
July 2, 2016 - Published on
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Alejandro Dezerega
4.0 out of 5 starsInteresting travel through math history
March 20, 2006 - Published on
Verified Purchase
13 people found this helpful.

Where's My Stuff?

Delivery & Returns

Need Help?