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What is Symmetry in Physics?

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Symmetry is vital to understanding and predicting how our universe works. The relationship between symmetry and the mechanics of the universe is fundamental to physics. From Noether’s theorem to the new and exciting world of local symmetries being revealed by modern day physics, Tara Shears explores the physics of symmetry.

By revealing nature’s parameters, symmetry gives definition to the world as we understand it. It is a fundamental principle that makes phenomena repeatable and predictable. But if symmetries are so pervasive and influential in our world, why do we see so much asymmetry and chaos?

This animation was produced by Rosanna Wan, our 2016-17 animator-in-residence, supported by the Sfumato Foundation.

[Video and text source: The Royal Institution YouTube channel]

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