The Gömböc, the Turtle and the Evolution of Shape

16 June 2015
16:00
Gábor Domokos
Abstract

In 1995, celebrated Russian mathematician V.I. Arnold conjectured that, contrary to common belief, convex, homogeneous solids with just two static balance points ("weebles without a bottom weight") may exist. Ten years later, based on a constructive proof, the first such object, dubbed "Gömböc", was built. In the process leading to the discovery, several curious properties of the shape emerged and evidently some tropical turtles had evolved similar shells for the purpose of self-righting.

This Public Lecture will describe those properties as well as explain the journey of discovery, the mathematics behind the journey, the parallels with molecular biology and the latest Gömböc thinking, most notably Arnold's second major conjecture, namely that the Gömböc in Nature is not the origin, rather the ultimate goal of shape evolution.

Please email gomboc@maths.ox.ac.uk to register.