S is for Sphere Inversion. I got the idea for this blog from 5 Seriously Mind-Boggling Math Facts on the site Live Science.
Here's the question: Can you turn a sphere inside out without tearing it and will the result still be a sphere?
The answer is yes, and here is a YouTube video from UnexpectedLogin showing what that would look like:
Kind of like watching a lava lamp isn't it? The cool part? According to the Live Science article, the person who proved this, topologist Bernard Morin, was blind.
What's topology, you ask? It involves the mathematical study of shapes and the properties of space that are preserved by stretching and bending, but not tearing or gluing. (Wikipedia.) So for the sphere inversion above, it had to be done without tearing the sphere or poking a hole in it.
Ever heard of topology? Like lava lamps?
Yesterday, I blogged about Benford's Law and how in a seemingly random group of numbers, the first digit is more likely to be a 1, then a 2, and so on. In our very small collection of data we got the numbers: 148, 1809, 239, 306, and 7. So that seems to hold! (Kinda, sort of, maybe).
I got an email from my editor and it looks like I'll be doing one more freebie this month from 4/24 until 4/27. Stop by for details on Friday. Or tomorrow, because I be babbling, rambling, and being quite silly on tangents.