On buttons and balls that cannot run away

Jan 22
22. January 2019 16:30 - 17:30
Hörsaal H 13, Cauerstr. 11, 91058 Erlangen

Referent: Prof. Dr. Bernd Kawohl, Universität Köln
Veranstalter: Nicolas Neuss

When is the cross section of a pipe perfectly circular? When
its width is independent of the direction in which I measure it, say, with a large caliper? The answer is no, and the fact that this answer was not known to some had tragic consequences, because it contributed to the Challenger desaster. In my talk I present two- and three-dimensional sets of constant width and some of their surprising properties. They can be used to construct drills which drill square holes, for instance, or buttons and balls that cannot roll away. I shall also report on progress in the proof of a mathematical conjecture related to these bodies.