Glossary

Select one of the keywords on the left…

Transformations and SymmetryIntroduction

Reading time: ~10 min

Many geometric concepts like lines or polygons were “invented” by mathematicians. Symmetry, on the other hand, is everywhere around us. Almost all plants, animals, and even we humans are symmetric.

Over time, we’ve imitated nature’s symmetry in art, architecture, technology and design. Symmetric shapes and patterns just seems to look more beautiful than non-symmetric ones.

But symmetry is much more important than simply looking beautiful. It lies at the very foundations of our universe, and can even explain the most fundamental laws of physics.

While symmetry is a very intuitive concept, describing it mathematically is more difficult than you might think. First, we have to learn about transformations, which are ways to convert one geometric figure into another one. Here are a few examples:

The result of a transformation is called the image. We often denote the image of a shape A as A, pronounced “A prime”. There are many different types of transformation, which we’ll explore in more detail throughout this course.

Archie