A Gömböc for the Mathematics Department

01/02/2024
Two men, one holding an exhibit. Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter

Hungarian Consul General Gergő Szilágyi presents a unique Gömböc exhibit to the RWTH Mathematics Department.

 

The Mathematics Department at RWTH Aachen University is delighted to present a unique exhibit. The Hungarian Consul General Gergő Szilágyi and Consul Erika Horvath presented an exhibit of a Gömböc that was specially made for RWTH. A Gömböc is a three-dimensional body with only two points of equilibrium: one stable and one unstable. This means that regardless of how you place the gömböc, it always rolls back to its stable equilibrium position - comparable to the well-known roly-poly doll toy. The difference is that the Gömböc returns to its starting position simply by virtue of its shape. It was not until 2005 that the Hungarian scientists Gábor Domokos and Péter Várkonyi succeeded in proving that such bodies exist at all.

Consul General Gergő Szilágyi emphasized the special ties to Aachen and expressed his hope that the Gömböc would bring together students from Hungary and RWTH Aachen University for joint study and research projects. Professor Aloys Krieg, Vice-Rector for Teaching and Learning and himself a mathematician, also seconded this idea. Professor Carsten Honerkamp, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, and Professor Michael Westdickenberg, spokesperson for the Mathematics Department, emphasized the mathematical significance of the discovery.

Anyone interested can admire the Gömböc in the entrance area of the Mathematics Department, at Pontdriesch 14-16.

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Hungarian Consul General Gergő Szilágyi (left) presents the Gömböc to Professor Michael Westdickenberg, spokesperson for the Mathematics department.