Descendant of Martin Luther, initiator of church reform, on his mother’s side, Mobius showed interest in mathematics very early. He refused to study law as his family wanted and focused on the queen of sciences. He was unfaithful to mathematics only with astronomy, and managed to achieve serious career success in the latter science as well having become a director of Leipzig observatory. Yet, the asteroid was named after him later to mark his achievements in mathematics. Specialists are aware of Mobius transformations and function, while almost everyone knows Mobius strip – a simple non-orientable surface with only one side when embedded in three-dimensional space. One can get from one point of this surface to another one without crossing the edge. Does it seem intricate to you? It is not so. According to the legend, Mobius noticed his famous strip on the neck of his maid while watching how the girl was binding her kerchief. During one of his lectures, the mathematician quoted to the students an apologue about an oriental ruler who wanted to divide his state among his five sons in such a way that each of them could come to help any other one. It turned out that it was impossible to divide the territory into five parts with each of them bordering with all the rest of them. The evidence of it was also shown by Mobius.
Information provided by the Scientific Russia News Agency. Media outlet’s registration certificate: IA No. FS77-62580 issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 31, 2015.
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