hyperbolic plane Science can be cute! Here is a crocheted representation of a hyperbolic plane taken from Science News. In 1997, two mathematicians, Daina Taimina and David Henderson from Cornell University’s Department of Mathematics, were looking for a way to make durable models for illustrating the unusual shapes in hyperbolic geometry. So Daina began experimenting with knitting and crochet in order to accurately demonstrate these principles visually in 3 dimensions. Pretty! Her original paper, including the crochet pattern, is here. Daina also published a crochet book of here designs, Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes by Daina Taimina.

hyperbolic planeResearch scientists like Hinke M. Osinga and Bernd Krauskopf,as seen on the left, from the Bristol Centre for Applied Nonlinear Mathematics, UK also turned to crochet to accurately illustrate chaos theory principles like this Lorenz Manifold.

It took Osinga 25,511 crochet stitches and about 85 hours! Boing Boing did a few write-ups on the above here Knitting Mathematics and here Chaotic Crochet. Extra cool is that they used their computer algorithms to create the crochet pattern.

Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes

Their research paper includes the full crochet pattern and instructions! [pdf]. Other crochet Lorenz Manifolds here. See also CrochetCoralReef.org.

So what’s a hyperbolic plane? In general, it’s the opposite of a sphere or ball. I think they resemble the curves and curls in a sea coral!

Coral Reef Foliose Coral