- On Exhibit
- Offering Format: Permanent Exhibit
- Blue Wing, Level 1
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Created by the famous design team of Charles and Ray Eames, this has been a favorite exhibit since it opened at the Museum of Science in 1981. The Eames wanted to provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the wonder of mathematics as well as the beauty of post-modern design.
Rather than focusing on one particular area of mathematics, the Eames selected the most compelling images and stories from many branches, including probability, topology, Boolean algebra, geometry, calculus, and logic. Observe the "History Wall" to see a timeline of these mathematic achievements.
In one area, soap bubbles forming on wire shapes reveal the minimal surface for that shape. Joseph Plateau experimented with closed wire loops and soap film in the mid-1800s, a century before we were able to prove mathematically what was evident in the bubbles. A curved wire dipped in the soapy solution forms a Moebius band, a larger version of which is part of the topology display nearby.
On the "Image Wall," discover the great beauty of mathematics. Find the Fibonacci series of numbers in the seeds of a sunflower, and view the Golden Spiral in the shell of a chambered nautilus.
Photos © Brilliantpictures.com, © Emily Roose, © Museum of Science