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Math Trek

Möbius and his Band

11:04am, January 28, 2003

A Möbius band (or strip) is an intriguing surface with only one side and one edge. You can make one by joining the two ends of a long strip of paper after giving one end a 180-degree twist.

An ant can crawl from any point on such a surface to any other point without ever crossing an edge.

This curious object is named for the astronomer and mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius (1790–1868), a professor at the University of Leipzig. He had studied theoretical astronomy with Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777–1855) in Göttingen for two semesters early in his life and became director of the Leipzig observatory in 1848. His publica

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