Monday, February 02, 2015

Möbius Strips: Now Apparently Three-Dimensional

Today I found out about a new paper that reports the generation of Möbius strips of optical polarization, which is very exciting. Unfortunately, the paper's abstract starts out in a very depressing manner that makes me cringe: "Möbius strips are three-dimensional geometrical structures, fascinating for their peculiar property..." Nooooooo!

Although does need three dimensions embed a Möbius strip in an ambient (extrinsic) space, a Möbius strip is a two-dimensional manifold.

(Tip of the cap to Physics Today for their Facebook post of a popular article about the new discovery. Notice the comment about the number of dimensions in the correction. In this case, the popular piece has done better than the paper's abstract.)

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