Margaret Wertheim on the beautiful math of coral

Margaret Wertheim

You can crochet hyperbolic space, and prove non-euclidean geometry.

Number of straight lines through a point outside a line which do not touch the line:

0: sphere
1: Euclidean space
inf: hyperbolic space

Examples: the Klein bottle.
Also, thisperspective projection of a dodecahedral tessellation in H3.
Four dodecahedra meet at each edge, and eight meet at each vertex, just like a cubic tessellation in E3 (clipped from Wikipedia):

She gets there by crocheting a coral reef. Many animal have hyperbolic structure.

Conclusion: we need to create play-tanks, like think-tanks, which let one play with concrete forms of abstract ideas.


Posted on October 6, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I'm in on the play tank! Also, I saw the crochet coral reef exhibit when it was at natural history museum here. It was stunning.

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