Saturday, July 18, 2009


When I saw this photograph (bottom) today of an Australian metrologist holding a near-perfect silicon sphere (weighing 1.0000000 kg, smooth to the nearest 0.0000000003 meter, and round to within 0.000000050 meters), I immediately thought of the print (top) by one of my favorite artists, Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher (1898-1972). Doing some more poking around, I found the photograph of Escher holding the sphere in his 1935 lithograph. The comparison is appropriate, since many of Escher's artworks were mathematically inspired.

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