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Symmetry: Symmetry Is All Around You!


Mathematics is much more than finding sums, differences, products, and quotients. Mathematics is a way of looking at the world. As a mathematician, you view the world looking for regularity and order or the lack of order and regularity.

We are surrounded by all types of symmetry, a type of regularity and order--in nature, in architecture, in art and much more. Look carefully at the world around you. Did you know that there are THREE types of symmetry? The picture of the sea flower to the left possesses all three types of symmetry.

[sea flower]
  1. LINE SYMMETRY: The most common type of symmetry is line symmetry. A figure that can be folded in such a way that one-half of it lies exactly on the other half is said to have line symmetry.

  2. ROTATIONAL SYMMETRY: A figure is said to have rotational symmetry if there exists a point around which the figure can be rotated less than one complete turn of 360 degrees in order to result in an identical figure.

  3. POINT SYMMETRY: A figure is said to have point symmetry if it can be rotated one-half of a turn or 180 degrees about a point onto itself.

After learning about these three types of symmetry you will begin to notice all of the symmetry in your world. Enjoy its beauty and the interest that it adds to your environment.

These symmetry pages have been brought to you by Nancy Powell, a former TeachNet Web Mentor from Bloomington High School, Bloomington, IL.


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