Family Fridays: "Möbius Moves" with Richard Schwartz — Friday, November 8, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

"Möbius Moves"

with Richard Schwartz

Friday, November 8
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

(in person)

It’s easy to make a paper Möbius band: take an ordinary strip of paper, give it a twist, and tape the ends together.  Move the strip around in space, trace your fingers around it, and observe something surprising: while an untwisted paper bracelet has two edges and two sides, surprisingly, the twisted version has only one edge and only one side.  And ponder this: how short of a strip can be used to make one of these?  The answer to this question had been a mathematical mystery until Richard Schwartz, Chancellor’s Professor at Brown University and the author of Really Big Numbers, proved that a 1-inch wide strip had to be more than roughly 1.7 inches (the square root of three, to be exact) to do the job.  Join Richard as we hear about some of the ideas that went into his recent proof while also having fun making Möbius bands of various kinds – knotted ones, multi-twisted ones, and the famous optimal one that comes up in his result – and exploring their strange and delightful properties.

Family Fridays is designed to bring family members of all ages together to enjoy a diverse array of engaging mathematical activities, promoting interest and enthusiasm among kids and adults alike.

Thanks to the generous support of Two Sigma, this program is free to attendees.

November 8th, 2024 from  6:30 pm to  8:00 pm
National Museum of Mathematics
225 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States
Phone: 212-542-0566