This sculpture, in 28 steps, depicts the gradual transformation of a double torus from a configuration in which its two handles are linked to one in which they are unlinked, then linked again to continue the endlessly cycling dance.
Metal model of Charles Ginnever's sculptureRashomon. Second Annual Conference of the International Society of the Arts, Mathematics and Architecture (ISAMA 2000), University at Albany, Albany, New York, 2000.
Placing the model in different orientations demonstrates the sculpture's many stable positions. The artist can then select those he would like to use full scale in a particular setting.
Welcome to an occasional series devoted to "cool stuff" that I encounter while browsing the world of mathematics and computer science. I'll peek at new developments in math and its applications, and I'll revisit old puzzles, famous problems, and historic events—anything mathematical that happens to catch my eye. I hope you'll find something of value in these brief, informal forays into the world of math.
Ivars Peterson is a freelance writer and editor. He was Director of Publications at the Mathematical Association of America from 2007 to 2014. As an award-winning mathematics writer, he previously worked at Science News for more than 25 years and served as editor of Science News Online and Science News for Kids. His books include The Mathematical Tourist, Islands of Truth, Newton's Clock, and Fragments of Infinity: A Kaleidoscope of Math and Art.