Posted by: Dave Richeson | December 13, 2008

Möbius bubble wrap

This week’s New York Times Magazine has an article called “The Year in Ideas.”

One feature in the article is “Bubble Wrap That Never Ends,” by Vanessa Gregory. She writes about the popular Japanese keychain called Mugen Puchi Puchi. It has six small buttons on it, and pressing them simulates popping bubble wrap. The keychain gives the same physical satisfaction as popping the little air bubbles, but the popping fun never ends. It is the perfect portable stress-reliever.

mugen_puchi

The interesting part of this NY Times profile (to me) was the accompanying photo, which is not a photo of the keychain, but of a Möbius band made out of bubble wrap! (Get it? The bubble wrap that never ends…)

bubblewrap

Of course, a Möbius band is one-sided and bubble wrap is two-sided (the bubbles are only on one side). The image is pretty small, but it looks like there are bubbles on both sides of this Möbius band, so the creator had to wrap it twice. In more mathematical language, this is a double-cover of the Möbius strip by a cylinder of bubble wrap!

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