Knot What You MIght Think

The other day I stopped at Stormie Waters' cabin, and she wanted me to get a knot out of the chain for her jade pendant. Then I commenced to pondering on knots. Cowboys use them to keep things from falling off a pack mule, sailors know all sorts of knots, neckties have special knots, and so on. I was surprised to learn that people study the things because they have mathematical properties.

Knots do more than just keep necklaces on and tie things down. They are also fascinating to mathematicians, and are found in nature.
Möbius knot image credit: Pixabay / Reimund Bertrams
There are various shapes and twists found in nature. One that fascinates me (mayhaps you as well) is the Möbius strip. You may have made those things as a kid, just cut a long strip of paper, give it half a twist, and attach the ends. It has two sides. No, one side. Wait... From there, we can have the Möbius knot and really go nuts, staring and playing with it. Mathematicians love them.

Knots and other fascinating, complex shapes are found in nature. Various creatures knot themselves and then undo the knots as they see fit, and even DNA can be found to have Möbius patterns. Even the knots in nature give silent testimony to the wisdom of the Master Engineer. Knots do more than just keep necklaces on and tie things down.
A stressed-out person may be described as “tied in knots,” unable to relax or make good decisions. Mathematicians, in contrast, find knots fascinating, and some of them devote their lives to the math of knots, including computer modeling to understand all their twists and turns. It may sound like an armchair interest with no practical value, but read on.
You can read the rest of this short but very interesting article (and consider the "experiment" afterward) by clicking on "When a Knot Is Not a Knot".

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