The connection between mathematics and art goes back thousands of years. Mathematics has been used in the design of Gothic cathedrals, Rose windows, oriental rugs, mosaics and tilings. Geometric forms were fundamental to the cubists and many abstract expressionists, and award-winning sculptors have used topology as the basis for their pieces. Dutch artist M.C. Escher represented infinity, Möbius bands, tessellations, deformations, reflections, Platonic solids, spirals, symmetry, and the hyperbolic plane in his works.
Mathematicians and artists continue to create stunning works in all media and to explore the visualization of mathematics--origami, computer-generated landscapes, tesselations, fractals, anamorphic art, and more.
This striking object is an example of a surface in 3-space whose intrinsic geometry is the hyperbolic geometry of Bolyai and Lobachevsky. Such surfaces are in one-to-one correspondence with the solutions of a certain non-linear wave-equation (the so-called Sine-Gordon Equation, or SGE) that also arises in high-energy physics. SGE is an equation of soliton type and the Breather surface corresponds to a time-periodic 2-soliton solution. See more pseudospherical surfaces on the 3D-XplorMath Gallery.
--- Richard Palais (Univ. of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA)
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This is a version of the Ow-Hull "Five Intersecting Tetrahedra." The visually stunning object should be a familiar sight to those who frequent the landscapes of M.C. Escher or like to thumb through geometry textbooks. Read about the object and how it is constructed on the Origami Gallery.
--- Thomas Hull. Photograph by Nancy Rose Marshall.
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People have long been fascinated with repeated patterns that display a rich collection of symmetries. The discovery of hyperbolic geometries in the nineteenth century revealed a far greater wealth of patterns, some popularized by Dutch artist M. C. Escher in his Circle Limit series of works. The cover illustration on this issue of the Notices portrays a pattern which is symmetric under a group generated by two Möbius transformations. These are not distance-preserving, but they do preserve angles between curves and they map circles to circles. See Double Cusp Group by David J. Wright in Notices of the American Mathematical Society (December 2004, p. 1322).
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