College Of Arts And Sciences | Symmetry in Nature
S105 | 0224 | Subbaswamy, K.


Symmetry and beauty are attributes you normally associate with art.
Did you know that such concepts play an important role in the
sciences?  The purpose of this course is to show how the concept of
symmetry is used in physics (and chemistry) to understand nature.  We
will begin with the exploration of simple, intuitive notions of
geometrical symmetry.  We will get a glimpse of the mathematical
language of symmetry.  Then we will move on to the more subtle
symmetries of space and time.  Some of the most fundamental laws of
nature, such as momentum and energy conservation, are related to
symmetry properties of space and time.  Finally, we will look at some
current research involving clusters of atoms (fullerenes, nanotubes)
where symmetry plays an important role.