It’s an Illusion, Part 7 – A Path Without End

Moebius Strip

Green Moebius Strip, photo by David Benbennick

The Moebius Strip has only one side and only one edge.  If you set out to paint it, you would end up with the same colour all over.  No matter where you started, a line drawn along the middle of the strip would go all the way around what look like two surfaces and end up where it began.

The Moebius Strip is a very simple shape and easy to make – you take a flat strip, put a half twist in it and join the ends.  If you take the time to make one, you can see for yourself that you can run your fingers continuously over the surface or (carefully) along the edge, without ever finding an end.

A surface without end – imagine the possibilities.  Engineers have used it to create conveyor belts that wear evenly.  It has become the basis for the recycling symbol.  Artists and writers have used the the idea in their work.  In “Moebius Strip II“, Escher imagined busy ants walking endlessly without ever coming to a place where their journey might end.  He suspended the strip and the ants on their endless journey both on his page and in our imaginations.

Image:

M. C. Escher,  Moebius Strip II

Photo of Green Mobius Strip by David Benbennick, distributed under Creative Commons Share Alike License.

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