In the Search for Beauty – Smilga

In an earlier post we have seen a wonderful book on special relativity titled Relativity and Man by V. Smilga. In that post, it was pointed out another book by this wonderful author titled In theSearch for Beauty, which has a very artful cover. I had first seen this book on the wonderful Soviet Books blog.


We were in process of searching this beauty, literally and figuratively both (see my and s.sanjay’s comments in Relativity and Man post), until we got this message from Boris Smilga the grandson of V. Smilga!

Hello. I have stumbled upon this excellent site somewhat accidentally, and was happy to find granddad’s footprints, so to say, on Indian soil. As the keeper of his estate, I happen to have the English edition of “In the Search for Beauty”, and, since you are interested in it, I have scanned it for the common good. You’ll find the file at (size≈23MB at 300 dpi, md5=718dd7f03a78325e82f0527854a9a394); please contact me if you have any trouble downloading it.

This is something that has really made me happy. I cannot thank Boris enough for this. Thanks once again Boris!!

Now something about the book:

The book takes us on a epic journey on the origins of non-Euclidean geometry  based on the parallel lines postulate and its  culmination in General theory of relativity of Einstein. It starts with era of Greek geometers, Euclid and his fifth postulate. Also the mathematical genius of the poet, polymath Omar Khayyam is given. Then the pages turn to mathematical giants like Bolyai, Lobachevsky, Gauss and their contributions to the development of non-Euclidean geometry. Then we come to general relativity and the final chapter on Einstein. The book is illustrated with witty cartoons throughout. (I have started but not yet finished the book, so the synopsis is not complete or exhaustive, please feel free to add your own review!).

The book was translated from the Russian by George Yankovsky. The book was published by Mir Publishers in 1970.

All credits to Boris Smilga.

You can get the book here (Boris’ link) and here (filecloud)  .

The book is now uploaded to

Djvu | OCR | 300 dpi| Covers | 175 pages (2-in-1 scan)| 23 MB

Password if needed: mirtitles

Magnet link/torrent links coming soon.

Facing Problems? See FAQs


1. Before Euclid – Prehistoric Times. 7
2. Euclid. 26
3. The Fifth Postulate. 57
4. The Age of Proofs. The Beginning. 81
5. Omar Khayyam. 92
6. The Age of Proofs. Continued. 129
7. Non-Euclidean Geometry. The Solution. 155
8. Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky. 198
9. Non-Euclidean Geometry. Some Illustrations. 230
10. New Ideas. Riemann. Non-contradictoriness. 246
11. An Unexpected Finale. The General Theory of Relativity. 269
12. Einstein 301

About The Mitr

I am The Mitr, The Friend
This entry was posted in astronomy, books, history, mathematics, mir books, mir publishers, physics, science, soviet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to In the Search for Beauty – Smilga

  1. s.sanjay says:

    Dear D,
    may our tribe increase! it gives me great pleasure to see the reference to Smilga’s other book culminating into its scan and uploading. many thanks to Boris for the book. it is really a proud moment for the site to have a contribution from the author’s family.


  2. mir_fan says:

    Created single page cleaned pdf file with much less size.
    ( Extracted tifs from djvu using DjvuLibre, Post processed using scantailor )
    I dont have OCR,so couldnt do it . If any errors pls let know. In very few pages, few letters are smudged. Scanning issue looks like.
    PS : Thanks Mr Boris Smilga !


  3. gnv64 says:

    I have uploaded the book:

    Geochemistry for Everyone
    by Alexander.E.Fersman
    Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow | 1958 | ISBN:N/A | PDF | 451 pages | 29.7 mb

    The magnet link is:


  4. gnv64 says:

    I have converted B,Smilga’s book to PDF with OCR.
    Those of you who like PDF format can download it from:


  5. Siddharth says:

    Good news Damitr!
    I have found one book “This Chancy, Chancy, Chancy World” by L. Rastrigin— MIR Publishers (1984)
    Thanks to gnv64 who uploaded book on internet
    The link for the book is
    Please let me know if the link is not working


  6. Boris Smilga says:

    Hi! Just a quick update, in case you’re interested: my dad got World Scientific to publish a new edition of the book (with some corrections of the original translation’s errors). See; it’s also being sold on Amazon.

    B. Smilga.


  7. Hitesh says:

    Links not working. Please update.


  8. D Suryanarayana says:

    I am unable to down load symmetry by Smilga in pdf format. I also request to put the books in pdf format also as I am unable to open in other formats. I had a hard copy earlier which I enjoyed reading.I want to reread t it and request to upload in pdf format


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.