The Mbius Strip: Dr. August Mbius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology

Clifford A. Pickover, Author . Thunder's Mouth $26 (244p) ISBN 978-1-56025-826-1

The Möbius band is a puzzlingly twisted strip of paper joined at the ends with, remarkably, only one side. It was discovered separately in 1858 by German mathematicians August Ferdinand Möbius and Johann Benedict Listing. As Pickover (Calculus and Pizza ), a prolific science author and former Discover columnist, tells us, today Möbius's strip is everywhere: it forms the familiar recycling symbol; freestyle skiers attempt a stunt called a "Möbius flip"; and it appears in the works of artists like M.C. Escher and writers like Arthur C. Clarke. Pickover uses the strip as a jumping-off point for a wide-ranging exploration of objects that are "chiral" (objects that are mirror images yet cannot be superimposed on each other) or have unusual properties of continuity. His travels take us from Earth, where he describes patented contraptions that incorporate the strip (a conveyor belt being one of the most successful), to the outer reaches of space, explaining some very strange topologies that have been theorized for the universe. Pickover is less successful in his forays into literature and the arts, and at times he wanders far afield. Readers who enjoy recreational mathematics à la Martin Gardner will get much pleasure from this inviting book. B&w illus. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.