Connection of Groups and Symmetry
Given a structured object X of any sort, a symmetry is a mapping of the object onto itself which preserves the structure. This occurs in many cases, for example
 If X is a set with no additional structure, a symmetry is a bijective map from the set to itself, giving rise to permutation groups.
 If the object X is a set of points in the plane with its metric structure or any other metric space, a symmetry is a bijection of the set to itself which preserves the distance between each pair of points (an isometry). The corresponding group is called isometry group of X.
 If instead angles are preserved, one speaks of conformal maps. Conformal maps give rise to Kleinian groups, for example.
 Symmetries are not restricted to geometrical objects, but include algebraic objects as well. For instance, the equation

 has the two solutions, and . In this case, the group that exchanges the two roots is the Galois group belonging to the equation. Every polynomial equation in one variable has a Galois group, that is a certain permutation group on its roots.
The axioms of a group formalize the essential aspects of symmetry. Symmetries form a group: they are closed because if you take a symmetry of an object, and then apply another symmetry, the result will still be a symmetry. The identity keeping the object fixed is always a symmetry of an object. Existence of inverses is guaranteed by undoing the symmetry and the associativity comes from the fact that symmetries are functions on a space, and composition of functions are associative.
Frucht's theorem says that every group is the symmetry group of some graph. So every abstract group is actually the symmetries of some explicit object.
The saying of "preserving the structure" of an object can be made precise by working in a category. Maps preserving the structure are then the morphisms, and the symmetry group is the automorphism group of the object in question.
Read more about this topic: Group Theory
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