Friday, January 07, 2011

Show us your Möbius strip!

Ever heard of Vi Hart, the Mathemusician? She's got a pretty fascinating YouTube channel and a interesting blog about - you guessed it - music and math.

One of her most recent videos, below, shows you how to draw a Möbius strip. These are fascinating little guys! Since I watched the video, I've been drawing them - well trying to draw them - everywhere! One of my most successful is above. I want to see your Möbius strip drawings and creations too! Scroll down for more...

A Möbius strip is a surface with only one edge and one side though at first glance it looks like it has two of each. If an ant were crawling on the strip, it would eventually walk the length of the strip, both "top" and "bottom" without ever leaving the strip.

To see what I'm talking about, take a strip of paper about 8 inches long and an inch wide. Imagine the back side of the paper is gray and the front is white. Tape the two ends of the strip together as though you were making a loop except twist one end so that you are taping the gray side onto the white side. Now you have your own Möbius strip.

Here's a video that demonstrates how to make your own Möbius strip:

As you can see in the video, if you draw a line down the middle of your Möbius strip, it will eventually return to where it started without you ever having to lift your pen - just like the ant.

Möbius strip are found everywhere, in art, on recycling bins, and wearable art like scarves and rings. In the 1950s, the B.F. Goodrich Company created a conveyor belt using a Möbius strip that was said to reduce overall wear on the belt.

Now that you've seen my Möbius strip, I'd love to see yours. Already have one drawn? Send it to us! If not, take some free time this weekend and draw or make a Möbius strip out of paper, ribbon or whatever else you can think of. Then, take a picture or scan your drawing and send it to us at I'll post whatever Möbius strips I receive in next Friday's blog post so send them in for the world to see!

[This photo shows 2008 Olympic skeet gold medal winner Pfc. Vincent Hancock (left, U.S.A.) and Anthony Terras bronze medal winner (right, Italy) at the Beijing Olympics. Their medals are hung on ribbons in the shape of a morbius strip. Photo by Tim Hipps/U.S. Army]

1 comment:

  1. The link to the Mobius video is broken? Please find. It will be fun. ;-)