Mathematics

The Gömböc is a self-righting shape

A Gömböc is a shape that has two equilibrium points—one stable and one unstable—instead of a minimum of 4 like other shapes. That makes it self-righting so wherever you put it, it’ll always go back to that single point of equilibrium.

The shape, created by Hungarian mathematicians Gábor Domokos and Péter Várkonyi, derives from a type of tortoiseshell (which only 3 species have, such as the Indian star tortoise).

There is something about a turtle on its back that twists your heart. With neck craning toward the ground and legs waving to no effect, it is the image of helplessness. But, malicious kids aside, turtles almost never end up upended. And it turns out that the apparent risk factor for that predicament—the turtle’s rigid carapace—is less a liability than an asset, surprisingly well-suited to the turtle’s goal of righting itself. The secret is in the mathematics of its shape.

via Natural History Mag

The Action Lab made a 5-minute video for it on their YouTube channel explaining the Gömböc in more detail.

Stream it below.

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