Symmetry, Algebra and the “Monster”

Very good introduction of Modern Math concept “Group” to secondary school math students by an American high school teacher.


  • Symmetry of a Square
  • Isometry (*) or Rigid Motion (刚体运动) = no change in shape and size after a transformation
  • What is a Group (群 “CAN I” ) ? = Closure Associative Neutral Inverse
  • Monster Group = God ?
  • String Theory: Higgs boson (玻色子) aka “God Particles”

Note (*): “保距映射” (Isometry),是指在度量空间 (metric space) 之中保持距离不变的”同构“关系 (Isomorphism) 。几何学中的对应概念是 “全等变换”

Group is Symmetry

Landau’s book “Symmetry” explains it as follow:

Automorphism = Congruence= 叠合 has
1). Proper 真叠合 (symmetry: left= left, right = right)
2). Improper 非真叠合 (non-symmetry: reflection: left changed to right, vice-versa).
Congruence => preserve size / length
=> Movement 运动 (translation 平移, rotation about O )
= Proper congruence (Symmetry)

In Space S, the Automorphism that preserves the structure of S forms a Group Aut(G).
=> Group Aut(G) describes the Symmetry of Space S.

Hence Group is the language to describe Symmetry.


Noether Theorem: Symmetry

Symmetry (hence Group) explains :
1. Conservation of Energy;
2. Conservation of Angular Momentum;
3. Periodic Table;
4. Laws of Thermodynamic.

Emmy Noether Theorem (1918): Conservation Laws owes to Symmetry :
1. In Linear motion
=> Conservation of Momentum

2. In Angular movement
=> Conservation of Angular Momentum

3. In Time
=> Conservation of Energy