related topics
{math, energy, light}
{math, number, function}
{theory, work, human}
{@card@, make, design}
{album, band, music}
{group, member, jewish}
{specie, animal, plant}
{god, call, give}
{car, race, vehicle}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{film, series, show}
{black, white, people}

Symmetry (from the Greek: "συμμετρεῖν" = to measure together), generally conveys two primary meanings. The first is an imprecise sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance;[1][2] such that it reflects beauty or perfection. The second meaning is a precise and well-defined concept of balance or "patterned self-similarity" that can be demonstrated or proved according to the rules of a formal system: by geometry, through physics or otherwise.

Although the meanings are distinguishable in some contexts, both meanings of "symmetry" are related and discussed in parallel.[2][3]

The "precise" notions of symmetry have various measures and operational definitions. For example, symmetry may be observed:

This article describes these notions of symmetry from four perspectives. The first is that of symmetry in geometry, which is the most familiar type of symmetry for many people. The second perspective is the more general meaning of symmetry in mathematics as a whole. The third perspective describes symmetry as it relates to science and technology. In this context, symmetries underlie some of the most profound results found in modern physics, including aspects of space and time. Finally, a fourth perspective discusses symmetry in the humanities, covering its rich and varied use in history, architecture, art, and religion.

The opposite of symmetry is asymmetry.


Full article ▸

related documents
Quantum entanglement
Chaos theory
Statistical mechanics
Platonic solid
Wave equation
Shape of the Universe
Continuum mechanics
Computational chemistry
Kepler's laws of planetary motion
Wave–particle duality
Conservation of energy
Variable star
Nonlinear optics
Electric field
Phase transition
Kinetic energy
Proxima Centauri
Galaxy formation and evolution
Tidal acceleration
Gamma ray burst
Tau Ceti
Lorentz transformation
Fine-structure constant
Escape velocity