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squarewheeltrike | by buhrayin
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squarewheeltrike

We arrived at the Museum of Math one hour before closing on a Saturday in late summer and zipped through it. The exhibits deserved more than the limited time we gave them and these videos, summarized below, will help us understand what we experienced with the intriguing interactive demonstrations. GO MO MATH!

 

SHAPES OF CONSTANT WIDTH

You sit on a boat-shaped platform above a field of irregularly shaped objects and yet glide rather smoothly over them because these objects, such as the Meissner tetrahedron, all have the same constant diameter whichever way they roll.

 

SQUARE WHEELS, CATENARY CURVES

You ride a tricycle with square wheels without any problem. This is because the surface you are riding on is catenary curved (hyperbolic cosine). And, for any shaped wheel, there is a corresponding road that will facilitate locomotion.

 

A SPECIAL SQUARE

When you and others step upon this large lit-from-below square, the square divides into as many differently colored geometric areas as there are people and each point within any one’s area is closer to that person than to any one else.

 

THE HUMAN FRACTAL TREE

On a projection screen, a copy of your body is copied where your arms are and on those projections, your body is again copied where your arms are and so on, forming a fractal pattern of you as a tree.

 

SOLIDS OF REVOLUTION SLICED TWISTED, REATTACHED AND ROLLED

Solids of revolution are cut along the axis of symmetry and then twisted and reattached to form an asymmetric object which then describes a distinct path when it rolls and it’s your job to match up each object with the trail it makes.

 

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Taken on August 31, 2013