• Peter Hilton
  • Derek Holton
  • Jean Pedersen
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics book series (UTM)


The concept of symmetry plays a strong role today in many of the exact sciences. Thus, for example, theoretical physicists, in searching for a unified field theory, have been led to the notion of supersymmetry, applied to the (super)strings, which, as some believe, are the fundamental building blocks of the universe. Perhaps the foremost exponent of this position is the American physicist Edward Witten, of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, who, a few years ago, won a Fields Medal — the most prestigious award that can be given to a mathematician1— for his fundamental theoretical contributions to superstring theory. Even more recently (August 1998, at the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Berlin), the Cambridge mathematician Richard Borcherds was awarded a Fields Medal for his contribution to the development of symmetry theory, especially with respect to Witten theory and its relation to the advanced mathematical theory of sporadic finite groups.


Symmetry Group Equilateral Triangle Cyclic Permutation Cycle Index Platonic Solid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Hilton
    • 1
  • Derek Holton
    • 2
  • Jean Pedersen
    • 3
  1. 1.Mathematical Sciences DepartmentSUNY at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceSanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

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