Light reflecting off the round rim creates a mathematically significant shape in this coffee cup

Sarah Hart

The following is an extract from our Lost in Space-Time newsletter. Each month, we hand over the keyboard to a physicist or mathematician to tell you about fascinating ideas from their corner of the universe. You can sign up for Lost in Space-Time for free here.

The artist Paul Klee famously described drawing as “taking a line for a walk” – but why stop there? Mathematicians have been wondering for five centuries what happens when…

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