Adventures in Group Theory: Rubik's Cube, Merlin's Machine, and Other Mathematical Toys
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Group theory deals with symmetry, in the most abstract form possible. It is a core part of the undergraduate math curriculum, and forms part of the training of theoretical physicists and chemical crystallographers. In this book, David Joyner uses mathematical toys (primarily the Rubik's Cube and its more modern cousins, the Megaminx, the Pyraminx, and so on) as well as other mathematical examples (for example, bell-ringing) to breathe new life into a time-honoured, and usually dry, subject. "Why," asks the author, "should two such different topics, mechanical puzzles and abstract group theory, be related? This book takes the reader on an intellectual trip to answer this curiosity". The book should not only appeal to maths enthusiasts and interested general readers but should also find use in the classroom as a supplementary text in any abstract algebra or group theory course.