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In geometry, the property by which the sides of a figure or object reflect each other across a line (axis of symmetry) or surface; in biology, the orderly repetition of parts of an animal or plant; in chemistry, a fundamental property of orderly arrangements of atoms in molecules or crystals; in physics, a concept of balance illustrated by such fundamental laws as the third of Newton's laws of motion. Symmetry in nature underlies one of the most fundamental concepts of beauty. It connotes balance, order, and thus, to some, a type of divine principle.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on symmetry, visit Britannica.com.