28/10/2013       Levitating Superconductor on a Möbius strip

This video of a “Levitating Superconductor on a Möbius strip” is via the RI Channel.

It reminded me of Chapter 16 in “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”, where I discuss Möbius strips in the context of a Futurama episode titled “2-D Blacktop”.

Extract from “The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets”

When I visited David X. Cohen at the Futurama offices in the fall of
2012, he told me about an episode in the upcoming season titled “2-D
Blacktop,” which will star Professor Farnsworth. Cohen explained
that the storyline involves the elderly proprietor of Planet Express turning
into a speed freak who soups up his spaceship in order to race it on
a Möbius drag strip.

Cohen revealed a few plot details: “Leela gets mad at the Professor
and they end up racing on the Möbius drag strip. Leela is leading, but
the Professor has this big racing move called the dimensional drift.
He spins the wheel while pulling the emergency brake, which causes
him to drift through one dimension higher than where he is. So, he
skids out of the third dimension, then passes briefly through the
fourth dimension, so he can reappear back in the third dimension
further along the track.”

Unfortunately, shifting up and down through dimensions also
leaves Professor Farnsworth traveling in the opposite direction to
Leela. Their vehicles collide head-on, thereby crushing them both
down into the second dimension! The next scene then takes place
against a dimensionally challenged landscape.