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The Princeton Companion to Mathematics by Imre Leader, June Barrow-Green, Timothy Gowers

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IV.16 Mirror Symmetry

Eric Zaslow

1 What Is Mirror Symmetry?

Mirror symmetry is a phenomenon found in theoretical physics that has had profound mathematical applications. It burst onto the mathematical scene after Candelas, de la Ossa, Green, and Parkes exploited the physical phenomenon to make precise predictions about certain sequences of numbers describing geometric spaces. The sequence predicted by those authors began 2875, 609 250, 317 206 375, . . . , and was far beyond the scope of calculation at the time. The phenomenon of mirror symmetry is that some physical theories have equivalent, “mirror” theories that lead to the same predictions. If some prediction requires a hard calculation but is easy to perform in the mirror theory, then ...

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