Sunday, April 22, 2012

Seifert Surface of a Figure Eight Knot

Today I had fun making felt with new friends.  Everyone made interesting topological surfaces, and this was mine.
I chose this design because it's a Seifert surface for a figure eight knot.  In part, that means that the edge (or boundary) of this surface is a figure eight knot.  It also has two faces, one in green and the other in purple.  It's made of felted wool and silk.

Herbert Seifert was a mathematician who studied topology, and he figured out that if you take a knot, and make this special kind of surface that has the boundary as the knot, then you can use that surface to learn lots of interesting stuff about the knot.  If you'd like to learn more about Seifert surfaces and see tons of nifty pictures, I suggest you check out this page by Jack van Wijk.  It was one of his papers (available at the bottom of the page) that gave me the idea to make this.

This piece is for sold.

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