Disk Combobulation

by George Hart

This is Disk Combobulation I, an assemblage of thirty 3.5 inch floppy diskettes, slotted and slid into each other gluelessly, embodying a precise five-color pattern. Each diskette is penetrated by diskettes of the other four colors. Twelve five-sided openings are each bordered by the five different colors in a different cyclic order. The six of any one color are arranged in the form of an exploded cube. For any choice of three different colors, there is one point where all three touch in a clockwise order; at the opposite point, they touch in a counterclockwise order. There are exactly two possible arrangements of the 30 disks with all the above properties, giving rise to Disk Combobulation I and Disk Combobulation II. They are not mirror images of each other. Above is the first one, currently on display at the Goudreau Museum in New Hyde Park, NY. The second one of the set was sent to someone as a house-warming present.
© 1999 George Hart