Group Theory in Rubik’s Cube & Music

Group is the “mathematical language” of Symmetry — the beauty which pleases human’s eyes and animal’s eyes: We are attracted by a symmetrical face (五官端正), bees are attracted by a symmetrical flower…

Group was discovered by a 19-year-old French genius Evariste Galois (sound: \ga-lua, 1811-1832), who was attempting to explain why any quintic equations (polynomial with degree 5 or more) could not have a solution formula (like quadratic, cubic, equations) using +, -, ×, /, nth root radicals. This 300-year problem since 16th century defeated even then the world’s greatest Mathematician Gauss. Before a fatal duel which killed him, Galois wrote down his discovery of ‘Group Theory’ which was understood only 14 years later by Professor Louisville of the Ecole Polytechnique — ironically the same university which failed Galois twice in admission exams (Concours, aka French imitation of Chinese 科举).

Group has 4 properties: “CAN I ?”

C: Closure
A: Associative
N: Neutral element (or Identity)
I: Inverse

Rubik’s cube is group. It is a fun game.

Music is group. It is pleasing to ears if the music is nice, or “symmetric”.


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