Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Mobius Strip

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Mobius Strip

Article excerpt

... adapted from MATH LAB #07 by TOPS Learning Systems

1. Cut 1 meter of adding machine tape with neat, square ends. Hold the ends together to make a closed loop.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

2. Turn one end over to make a half twist, and tape the seam together all the way across to make a Mobius strip.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

3. Draw a straight line along the center of your loop. Continue until you meet your starting point.

4. Argue thatyour Mobius strip has only one side!

5. Cut along your pencil line with scissors. What do you get? Does it still have only one side?

[c] 2009 by TOPS Learning Systems. Photocopies permitted if this notice appears. All rights reserved.

OBJECTIVE

To be surprised by the unusual topographical properties of a Mobius strip.

LAB NOTES

Copy the lab for each student or lab team.

Step 3. Continue drawing the unmarked side even if you can see the center line through the paper.

Step 4 variation: A single side has a single edge. Confirm by cutting along the edge with pinking shears, or punching pinholes--all the way around.

Step 5 variation: Instead of cutting along the center line, cut 1/4 of the way from the edge. The result is two interlocking loops. One is still a Mobius strip, the original length but half as wide. …

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