Monday, January 21, 2019

Breaking symmetry

It's sort of like breaking bad. We humans are obsessed with repeating patterns in nature, which certainly exist. But we then tend to create models of reality based only on the symmetrical patterns when there is also asymmetry in nature. The later if fact is required to form new patterns according to this materials physicist:

"In fact symmetry-breaking is as fundamental to the Universe, and to our view of it, as symmetry itself. […] At the cosmological scale, the differences between the fundamental forces that govern the Universe, including gravity and electromagnetism, are believed to be the result of symmetry breaking in a mathematically analogous way. […] At a certain level of abstraction, in both science and art, symmetry-breaking creates the conceptual space for interesting things to happen. Patterns might be appealing but, from ancient sagas to modern technology, they are at their most interesting, useful and revealing when broken."

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