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Mobius Strip: Definition, Explanation & Uses

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After reading this lesson, you'll know how you can make your own Mobius strip and you'll know where you'll find it in action in the real world. And you'll know what about it makes it so unique and intriguing at the same time.

What is a Mobius Strip?

Do you have a piece of paper nearby? Take a look at it. How many sides does it have? It has two sides, a front and a back. If you draw on the front, the back remains empty. If you draw on the back, the front remains empty. You can have two different drawings on one sheet of paper. And most things that you come across around you have a front and a back. Your body has a front and a back. When you wear a shirt, you can have one design on the front and another on the back.

Well, a Mobius strip is a very different thing. It is a strip that only has one side and only one edge. Interesting, isn't it? This means that if you draw on one side of the Mobius strip, you will have drawn on the whole thing as it only has one side. The Mobius only has a front. It has no back.

Make Your Own

You can make a Mobius strip for yourself by using just a strip of a piece of paper. Tear a strip about an inch or two wide from the long side of the paper. Then, bring the two ends together. Flip one end over, so that the back side of the paper strip is connected to the front side of the paper strip. Now, glue these ends together. You now have a Mobius strip.

A Mobius strip
mobius strip

You can check that you did it right by taking a pen and drawing a line on the Mobius strip without lifting the pen. You should be able to draw a line that ends where you started. Since the Mobius strip only has one side, you will have drawn all over the Mobius strip when you are done.

What Makes It Unique?

You've probably already guessed what it is about the Mobius strip that makes it so unique. That's right. It's the fact that it only has one side and only one edge. Not very many things in this world are like that. Actually, most things that grow naturally have sides to it. So, this concept of only having one side can be quite strange and foreign. This is where making one for yourself will make it easier to see and understand.

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