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Stereographic Projection Produces Stunning Shadows

Mathematicians Henry Segerman (Oklahoma State University) and Saul Schleimer (University of Warwick) have created stunning shadow sculptures using stereographic projection in reverse.

The sculptures are spherical shells that, when illuminated from a single light source, cast two-dimensional shadows. For each work, the pair took a two-dimensional tiling as their starting point and then worked out what pattern on the sphere would produce it.

"Stereographic projection is a beautiful and important idea, and these models show how it works in an immediately understandable way," says Schleimer. "I think people respond even better to a real-life physical demonstration than a computer animation—you can’t cheat when it’s something as simple as light and shadow!"

Read Alex Bellos's coverage in The Guardian.

Start Date: 
Thursday, November 13, 2014