Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy reveals how symmetry is a fundamental concept both in the arts and the sciences: from the walls of the Alhambra to the Higgs boson, from the music of Bach to deadly viruses. Based on his book Finding Moonshine he will tell the story of how mathematicians have produced a language to be able to explore, tame and classify this slippery concept. The hero of the story is the French nineteenth century revolutionary Evariste Galois who created this new mathematical language called group theory before being shot in a duel at the age of 20. His insight led mathematicians to the realisation that it was possible to create a Periodic Table of atomic symmetries from which all others are built. Called the Atlas of Finite Simple Groups the completion of this mammoth project is one of the great achievements of mathematics in the last century.
Marcus du Sautoy is best known for popularising mathematics. He is a mathematics professor at the University of Oxford. His main scientific work concerns group and number theory. He has written several books, worked on science documentaries and game shows and writes for newspapers. One of his best known columns is Sexy Math in The Times. Marcus du Sautoy is Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, a chair previously held by Richard Dawkins. In 2009 he won the Michael Faraday Prize from the Royal Society in London for "Excellence in communicating science to UK audiences".
Organized by the Hendrik de Waard Foundation in cooperation with Studium Generale Groningen and Science LinX. The Hendrik de Waard Foundation was founded after the retirement of the late professor of physics Hendrik de Waard in 1987. Annually, the foundation organises a lecture to inform and intrigue the general public about recent developments in science. www.hdw.fmf.nl