Hermann Weyl: The Search for Beautiful Truths
One of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century, Hermann Weyl (1885–1955) was associated with three major institutions during his working years: the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), the University of Gottingen, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In the last decade of Weyl's life (he died in Princeton in 1955), Dover reprinted two of his major works, The Theory of Groups and Quantum Mechanics and Space, Time, Matter. Two others, The Continuum and The Concept of a Riemann Surface were added to the Dover list in recent years.
In the Author's Own Words:
"My work always tried to unite the truth with the beautiful, but when I had to choose one or the other, I usually chose the beautiful."
"We are not very pleased when we are forced to accept mathematical truth by virtue of a complicated chain of formal conclusions and computations, which we traverse blindly, link by link, feeling our way by touch. We want first an overview of the aim and of the road; we want to understand the idea of the proof, the deeper context."
"A modern mathematical proof is not very different from a modern machine, or a modern test setup: the simple fundamental principles are hidden and almost invisible under a mass of technical details." — Hermann Weyl
Critical Acclaim for Space, Time, Matter:
"A classic of physics . . . the first systematic presentation of Einstein's theory of relativity." — British Journal for Philosophy and Science