What in the world is The Gömböc?
The Gömböc is an amazing self-righting geometric shape with two points of equilibrium: one is stable and the other is not.
Place it on a flat surface and it stays at rest on its stable equilibrium point. Tip it to its unstable point, and Gömböc seems to take on a life of its own. Gömböc will roll around in a systematic way until it reaches its stable equilibrium position.
This unique three-dimensional object is homogeneous (meaning no weights are employed as they would be inside a teetering toy) and convex (no bulging).
Once believed not to exist in either the abstract or in nature, mathematicians Gábor Domokos and Peter Várkonyi not only proved their existence but also identified two species of tortoise whose shells have evolved into self-righting Gömböcs apparently as a result of natural selection.
Precision manufactured of polished aluminium-alloy, Gömböc weighs 2.2 lbs (1000 grams) and measures 3.54"h x 3.14"w x 3.93"l (90mm high x 80mm wide x 100 mm long). The three-dimensional Gömböc shape and its figurative symbol are protected by design, trademark and copyright worldwide.
Although the Gömböc has no moving parts, the geometry has to be manufactured to unprecedented precision: a Gömböc of 10 cm diamater has tolerances farless than 0.1mm. This precision presents a formidable challenge even to state-of-art precision technologies.
Where can the idea of the Gomboc be applied?
In case of many mathematical discoveries the route to applications often takes many years. Although the Gömböc is a very recent result, applications in biology and geology are already very promising.Beyond scientific applications, the Gömböc aroused the interest of major industrial companies in various industries.
Beyond it being a mathematical marvel, The Gömböc , with its self-righting nature, can serve as an inspirational icon to those who have endured personal hardships but have persevered over life's many trials and tribulations.