Graduate Student Colloquium

Thursday, February 14, 2019 5:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

**This talk was originally scheduled for February 12; it will now take place on February 14, 2019**

Nick Manor, Department of Pure Mathematics, University of Waterloo

"Do the Borromean rings exist?"


This "impossible figure", consisting of three non-linked circles which cannot be separated, has been a symbol of unity for centuries. Despite their enigmatic structure, this link can be physically realized, and exists in the form of a sculpture at the Fields Institute, using pipe cleaners in my office, and even at the molecular level using strands of DNA! But none of these examples use perfect circles. Even though knots have been studied mathematically since the 19th century, it took over 100 years to settle once and for all whether the Borromean rings can be formed from three perfect circles. On Tuesday, I'll describe this beautiful argument. Stay tuned!

MC 5501