When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Professor’s 3D gifts will help shape the future
What do you get the man or woman who has everything?
What about a symmetrical object which only exists in an infinite dimensional hyperspace beyond our own three-dimensional universe.
And if you still need convincing – it will raise money for a good cause.
The shapes have been discovered by an Oxford mathematician and he has already named one in honour of The Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
Now professor Marcus du Sautoy, of Oxford University’s Mathematical Institute, will sell the naming rights to other shapes to raise money for charity.
The Queen does not “own” the shape since it lies in mathematical infinite dimensional hyperspace, but Prof du Sautoy will instead be presenting her with a certificate describing in mathematical language the contours of her latest gift.
He said: “Unlike bell towers, ocean liners and Olympic Parks this creation will stand the test of time because mathematical discoveries last forever.
“I hope this initiative will give the public a chance not only to get involved in mathematics but also to join The Queen in hyperspace to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.”
Prof du Sautoy is the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and has appeared in a number of TV programmes including Horizon and The Story of Maths.
For the record, The Queen’s new object is Set [C, C, C, C]=[1952,2012,60,1] which corresponds to an elliptic curve of conductor 20779051082713382720.
The contours of this new shape, which is called The Diamond Jubilee Group, encode three important numbers: 1952, the year of The Queen’s accession to the throne, 2012, the current year, and 60 – the years she has reigned.
Prof du Sautoy has discovered a number of symmetrical shapes in hyperspace.
Symmetry is considered to be one of the most important concepts in science. The diamond gets its strength from the symmetry of the arrangement of carbon atoms while the symmetry of a flower is key to attracting bees.
Particles being hunted in the Large Hadron Collider in CERN were discovered because of their underlying symmetries.
To name a symmetrical object visit maths.ox.ac.uk/naming_ symmetries. Money raised will go to Common Hope which helps children and their families in Guatemala.
Comments are closed on this article.