Fearful symmetry brings the incredible discoveries of contemporary physics within everyone’s grasp. A. Zee, a distinguished physicist and skillful expositor, tells the exciting story of how today’s theoretical physicists are following Einstein in their search for the beauty and simplicity of Nature.
Fearful Symmetry invites us to view physics not merely as a body of theories and facts, but as a spirited quest to fathom the workings of the universe. It is the first book to offer an accessible explanation of how symmetry forms the intellectual and aesthetic foundation of modern physics. We go from the left-right symmetry of living forms to the deep, abstract symmetries of the fundamental laws of Nature. Zee shows how symmetry guides Nature’s grand design in such diverse phenomena as the longevity of stars, the magic of light, the expansion of the cosmos, and the life and death of particles.
Animated by a sense of reverence and whimsy, Fearful Symmetry describes the majestic sweep and accomplishments of twentieth-century physics. In the end, we stand in our before the grand vision of modern physics – one of the greatest chapters in the intellectual history of humankind.
A. Zee, born in China, reared in Brazil, and educated at Princeton and Harvard, has traveled and lectured around the world. He holds a joint appointment as a professor at the University of California and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, where he lives with his wife and two sons. His previous book, Unity of Forces in the Universe, a technical work for advanced graduate students and researchers, was praised by the London Times as “crisp, thought-provoking and often witty.”