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Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 12:00AM

Symmetry and the Monster

Professor Mark Ronan

On 30 May 1832 a young Frenchman named Évariste Galois lay dying in a field outside Paris, fatally wounded in a duel. The previous night, he wrote a letter he knew would be his last, summarizing his mathematical work. Galois was just twenty, but his use of symmetry to study equations has made him immortal. He started something that led eventually to the basic building blocks of symmetry. The quest to find them all produced a beautiful and mysterious object that lives in 196,884 dimensions, and may be connected with the very fabric of our universe. It is called the Monster.

Professor Mark Ronan
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20 February 2008

Symmetry and the Monster
Professor Mark Ronan

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