The Dilettante

The Dilettante on Living in a Möbius World

Currently reading One Two Three… Infinity by George Gamow.

Here is a little science demonstration inspired by a section on the topology of the cosmos.

Some things I discovered while working on this video:

You can’t make the kind of Möbius strip that I did by nesting two Möbius strips together: you can’t nest two Möbius strips and have one follow the contours of the other all the way around.

If you construct this, and pull it apart so that it hangs loosely as a single loop of paper, it’s very difficult to put it back the way it was. It’s kind of a puzzle.

Here are some other cool Möbius strip related videos I like:

A superconducting vehicle that runs on a magnet covered Möbius strip.

One of my favorites, Vi Hart, showing off a Möbius music box.

This awesome 3D printed round Möbius strip.

2 replies on “The Dilettante on Living in a Möbius World”

Adam, That took some ingenuity. But I didn’t understand what the Mobius Strip is about. Why should I care about it and how does it relate to our situation in a 3 dimensional world (4, if you count time)? I really enjoy your blog. I bet Conrad liked that Mobius Strip, right?

Thanks, Susan.

Since it is difficult to imagine what a twist in 3D space would look like, the Möbius strip gives an example of what a twist in space for a 2D creature looks like. From there you can use your imagination as to what a corresponding twist in 3D space might be like.

The reason why you might want to imagine a twist in 3D space is that, in principle, space (on cosmic scales) could be warped in any number of different ways. An especially intriguing way would be a Möbius twist leading to the weird result that you could travel in a straight line from your starting point and arrive back at your origin with your body flipped.

And, yes, Conrad liked the Möbius strip, and helping me make the video.

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