Is Symmetry the Universal solution?


Is Symmetry the Universal solution?

Ivan Loseu, a Mathematics professor at Northeastern University, is not just interested in math but also strives to apply it to understand anything and everything about this huge and three-dimensional World. What he suggests is decreasing the variables count whenever we are focusing on this world. Three variables are necessary to be considered, as the Earth’s movements can only be described in a three-dimensional space. If we are to apply Newton’s laws in physics, according to Loseu, then these variables can be brought to two as well, simply because the Earth is static – never leaving its plane.


Bringing the count to one will be much better, but it seems quite impossible. How to do that? By the properties of gravitational force, which will help track the Earth’s ellipsis. “The formula for gravity depends only on the distance between the sun and Earth,” he said. “You rotate the picture, but the physical law remains the same.”


Symmetry is the answer to this problem, posing as that one variable discussed before. “A symmetry is any transformation that preserves your problem,” Loseu explained. There are symmetries other than the exact ‘reflection’ – like a mirror – which we already know. Loseu here gives an example of rotational symmetry, where the object rotates along its axis, but the properties remain unchanged. When it comes to symmetries, even if the system seems to be changing, the properties more or less stay the same.


“Take two symmetrical transformations, apply them consequently, and the composition of the two is again a symmetry,” Loseu explained. More symmetrical any given system is, more is this system easier to analyse and disentangle. This can actually help to solve any problems of the world; through math and symmetry.


“Any scientific discovery involves some kind of magic,” Loseu muses. Here, by magic, he means how something completely unrelated comes together to make a big, ‘symmetrical’, big picture. “Since pure math is pure, all this magic is much more clearly seen.


Pranjali Wakde

pranjali wakde

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