Symmetry

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Anaximander:The earth is a cylindrical column, surrounded by air; it floats upright in the centre of the universe without support or anything to stand on, yet it does not fall because, being in the centre, it has no preferred direction towards which to lean; if it did, this would disturb the symmetry and balance of the whole. The spherical heavens enclose the atmosphere.

Symmetry (from Greek συμμετρία symmetria "agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement") has two meanings. The first is a vague sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance. The second is an exact mathematical "patterned self-similarity" that can be demonstrated with the rules of a formal system, such as geometry or physics. Although these two meanings of "symmetry" can sometimes be told apart, they are related, so they are here discussed together. Mathematical symmetry may be observed with respect to the passage of time; as a spatial relationship; through geometric transformations such as scaling, reflection, and rotation; through other kinds of functional transformations and as an aspect of abstract objects, theoretic models, language, music and even knowledge itself.

Alphabetized by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P -Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · Anon · External links

A[edit]

  • The earth is a cylindrical column, surrounded by air; it floats upright in the centre of the universe without support or anything to stand on, yet it does not fall because, being in the centre, it has no preferred direction towards which to lean; if it did, this would disturb the symmetry and balance of the whole. The spherical heavens enclose the atmosphere 'like the bark of a tree', and there are several layers of this enclosure to accommodate the various stellar objects.

B[edit]

Kate Bush:I'm busy chasing up my demon.
Oh, I'm in love With Egypt.
  • Guided only by their feeling for symmetry, simplicity, and generality, and an indefinable sense of the fitness of things, creative mathematicians now, as in the past, are inspired by the art of mathematics rather than by any prospect of ultimate usefulness.

C[edit]

D[edit]

E[edit]

F[edit]

Henry Fuseli:Proportion, or symmetry, is the basis of beauty; propriety, of grace.

G[edit]

H[edit]

Frank Herbert:There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace - those qualities you find always in that which the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, in the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of creosote bush or the patterns of its leaves.

I[edit]

J[edit]

  • To let the reader sometimes complete the symmetry between words and to do no more than suggest it. In this painting of our life given to us by our memories, everything is moving and depends on our point of view.

K[edit]

silver birch - Helen Keller: I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough shaggy bark of a pine.

L[edit]

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg: The introduction of symmetries belongs here too, silhouettes in inkblots, etc. Likewise the gradation we establish in the order of creatures: all this is not in the things but in us. In general we cannot remember too often that when we observe nature, and especially the ordering of nature, it is always ourselves alone we are observing.
  • The introduction of symmetries belongs here too, silhouettes in inkblots, etc. Likewise the gradation we establish in the order of creatures: all this is not in the things but in us. In general we cannot remember too often that when we observe nature, and especially the ordering of nature, it is always ourselves alone we are observing.

M[edit]

N[edit]

O[edit]

  • Some people focus more on sonics. Some people focus more on story. I focus on both sonics and story, but music sometimes, just music itself, can turn into more of a maths problem. I guess everything in life is a math problem, but it can be more about an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want, and this vibe, sonically.

P[edit]

Blaise Pascal:*Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no reason for any difference...
Thomas Pynchon: ...among its most tender flesh without a reflex or cry, then at least, at very least, waiting for a symmetry of choices to break down, to go skew....
  • Beauty is our weapon against nature; by it we make objects, giving them limit, symmetry, proportion. Beauty halts and freezes the melting flux of nature.

Q[edit]

R[edit]

Varadaraja V. Raman: When one is involved in the discovery and discernment of the marvelous laws and symmetries that shape the phenomenal world, one cannot but be struck by the silent and unfathomable intelligence that seems to pervade the Cosmos.
Graphic design -Paul Rand:Graphic design, which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates, is not good design if it does not communicate.
  • Graphic design, which evokes the symmetria of Vituvius, the dynamic symmetry of Hambidge, the asymmetry of Mondrian; which is a good gestalt, generated by intuition or by computer, by invention or by a system of coordinates, is not good design if it does not communicate.

S[edit]

Pierre Schaeffer:Take a sound from whatever source, a note on a violin, a scream, a moan, a creaking door, and there is always this symmetry between the sound basis, which is complex and has numerous characteristics which emerge through a process of comparison within our perception.

T[edit]

Bayard Taylor:The nearest approach I have ever seen to the symmetry of ancient sculpture was among the Arab tribes of Ethiopia. Our Saxon race can supply the athlete, but not the Apollo.

U[edit]

V[edit]

W[edit]

Steven Weinberg: We have simply arrived too late in the history of the universe to see this primordial simplicity easily ... But although the symmetries are hidden from us, we can sense that they are latent in nature, governing everything about us. That's the most exciting idea I know: that nature is much simpler than it looks. Nothing makes me more hopeful that our generation of human beings may actually hold the key to the universe in our hands—that perhaps in our lifetimes we may be able to tell why all of what we see in this immense universe of galaxies and particles is logically inevitable.
  • We have simply arrived too late in the history of the universe to see this primordial simplicity easily ... But although the symmetries are hidden from us, we can sense that they are latent in nature, governing everything about us. That's the most exciting idea I know: that nature is much simpler than it looks. Nothing makes me more hopeful that our generation of human beings may actually hold the key to the universe in our hands—that perhaps in our lifetimes we may be able to tell why all of what we see in this immense universe of galaxies and particles is logically inevitable.

X[edit]

Y[edit]

  • Nature seems to take advantage of the simple mathematical representations of the symmetry laws. When one pauses to consider the elegance and the beautiful perfection of the mathematical reasoning involved and contrast it with the complex and far-reaching physical consequences, a deep sense of respect for the power of the symmetry laws never fails to develop.
  • By the late Nineties, we had become a more visual nation. Big-money taste moved to global standards - new architecture, design and show-off contemporary art. The Sloane domestic aesthetic - symmetry, class symbolism and brown furniture - became as unfashionable as it had been hot in the early Eighties.

Z[edit]

Anonymous[edit]

External links[edit]

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