My Better Self

“She collected drops of moonlight in a bowl then filled it in a jar full of paper stars , just to make sure his nights are always bright and warm.”


A Thought-Provoking Toy

by Michael Keller

The spinning top above illustrates an unusual asymmetry where it flips over if spun in a clockwise motion and stays upright when spun counterclockwise. This behavior is a result of chirality, a property in which something displays handedness. When the an object or system is chiral, its mirror images can’t be exactly mapped to each other—like your right and left hands. 

Tadashi Tokieda, director of studies in mathematics at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, investigates and invents toys like the one above that exhibit interesting behaviors. He’s also a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where he presented what he calls the world’s first chiral tippy top. See the video with this and other toys that display chirality below.

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