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Hidden in the heart of the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, string theory, and modern cosmology lies one idea: symmetry. Symmetry has been a key concept for artists, architects, and musicians for centuries, but as a mathematical principle it remained, until very recently, an arcane pursuit. In the twentieth century, however, symmetry emerged as central to the most fundamental ideas in physics and cosmology. Why Beauty Is Truth chronicles its history, from ancient Babylon to twenty-first century physics. World-famous mathematician Ian Stewart tells the compelling stories of the eccentric and occasionally tragic mathematical geniuses as he describes how symmetry grew into one of the most important ideas of modern science.