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Of Soap Films and Singularities

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have shown that identifying a special type of curve on the surface of a soap film can help predict where singularities are likely to occur, which could aid in the understanding of singularities in the natural world.

A team from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics attempted to understand how to predict where the singularity will occur when soap films are twisted or stretched to a point of instability. They found evidence that the ultimate location of the singularities that occur when soap films collapse can be deduced from the properties of the systole, the length of the shortest closed curve on the surface that cannot be shrunk to a point while remaining on the surface.

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Start Date: 
Friday, June 13, 2014