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strange surfaces


New Ideas on an Old Bottle

Felix Klein, a German mathematician, introduced one of the best known surfaces, the Klein bottle, in 1882. It has no edge, no inside or outside, and cannot be constructed properly in 3 dimensions.

In 1995 Alan Bennett, a retired glass-blower, became interested in Klein bottles and was in a unique position to satisfy his curiosity. From simple beginnings his researches produced a variety of beautiful and mathematically sophisticated forms. New discoveries have emerged from his work which formed the inspiration for this display.

Glass Triple Klein bottle by Alan Bennett, 1996.

This is one of a series of glass Klein bottles made by Alan Bennett for the Science Museum. It consists of three Klein bottles, one inside another. In the series Alan Bennett made Klein bottles analogous to Mobius strips with odd numbers of twists greater than one.

Inv.(1996-545)

Glass Triple Klein bottle by Alan Bennett, 1996