Picture of Egor Pifagorov
Bernd Kawohl (University of Cologne) "Convex sets of constant width"
by Egor Pifagorov - Thursday, 3 September 2015, 03:59 AM
Коллоквиум лаборатории Чебышева

Внимание! Необычные день и время!

Вторник 15 сентября 17:30 ауд. 14 (14-я линия В.О., 29)

Bernd Kawohl (University of Cologne)

"Convex sets of constant width"

When does a steel pipe have an exactly circular cross section? When it
features constant exterior width from every angle? That could easily be
verified with a big caliper or slide gauge, and this procedure was used in
the process of assembling booster rockets for the space shuttle. The
authors of the corresponding manuals had overlooked that there are
geometric shapes, so-called sets of constant width, that are not circles.
This was a contributing factor to the Challenger disaster in 1986. In my
talk I will point out that these odd sets show up in our daily life, how
their knowledge can be used to drill square holes, and that there are
interesting mathematical questions connected with them. The talk is
directed at a general mathematical audience.