|MadSci Network: Physics|
Greetings: The answer to your question is YES. Nature can have Mobius like structures. Your question is an interesting one for I first read about the odd attributes of Mobius strips when I was in highschool way back in the 1940s in a now famous paperback book by George Gamow titled "One, Two, Three Infinity". Most of the scientists of my era recall reading that particular book at an early age. I made a quick straw poll of several scientists near my office and none of them knew of any natural form of the Mobius strip. However; I continued to search the web and hundreds of oddball sites came up. It seems that dozens of people use Mobius strips to questionably (at least to me) describe complex issues beyond the scope of science and mathematics. I searched the patent database and found 16 patents with Mobius in the title including toy puzzles, band saw blades, long lasting typewriter ribbons and even an interesting particle accelerating grid. For your information these patents are listed below. US05678489 10/21/1997 Electrically-operated moving body travelling on a rail capable of explaining free quadrants described in the mobius theorem US05557178 09/17/1996 Circular particle accelerator with mobius twist US05324037 06/28/1994 Mobius strip puzzle US04968161 11/06/1990 Ribbon cassette for reinking only one longitudinal half of a Mobius ribbon US04640029 02/03/1987 Mobius strip and display utilizing the same US04599586 07/08/1986 Mobius capacitor US04384717 05/24/1983 Mobius strip puzzle US04253836 03/03/1981 Mobius belt and method of making the same US04189968 02/26/1980 Mobius strip bandsaw blade US04058022 11/15/1977 Mobius drive belt fastener US04042244 08/16/1977 Mobius toy US03991631 11/16/1976 Woven endless belt of a spliceless and Mobius strip construction US03953679 04/27/1976 Telephone answering device utilizing Mobius loop activating switch US03758981 09/18/1973 MOBIUS BAND TYPE AMUSEMENT DEVICE US03648407 03/14/1972 DYNAMIC MOBIUS BAND US03621968 11/23/1971 RIBBON CARTRIDGE WITH MOBIUS LOOP IN RIBBON Finally talked with a chemist and he said check on chiral molecules and sure enough I found pay dirt at the following web site: http:// www.rod.beavon.clara.net/chiralit.htm QUOTE: "A chiral molecule is one that is not superimposable on its mirror image. Non-superimposability on the mirror image is a necessary and sufficient condition for chirality; no exception has ever been found. The non-superimposability can come about in a number of ways, and need not involve a chiral center, or even organic molecules at all. Some examples are amusing; since amusement is by far the best reason to do any Chemistry, here are some examples, after a brief excursion into the topic of optical activity. The examples are from March (1). Optical activity: The degree of rotation of the plane of polarization of plane-polarized monochromatic light by a chiral compound depends on the path length the light traverses, the concentration of the compound (if it is in solution), the compound itself – and the wavelength of the light. It is not widely promulgated that the amount of rotation a particular sample gives is wavelength dependent, a phenomenon called optical rotatory dispersion. The light usually used for the determination of optical activity is sodium light; at other wavelengths, the rotation will be different, may be zero, and may even reverse in direction compared with the rotation given with sodium light. ------------------------ Perchlorotriphenylamine (the 'perchloro' bit derives from the replacement of all of the hydrogen atoms with chlorine) is heavily sterically hindered and the molecule is in the shape of a propeller. Perchlorotriphenylamine Perhaps you have at some time cut a strip of paper, glued one end, and then joined the two ends with a half-twist: the Mobius Strip. You can then convince yourself using a pencil that this strip has only one surface. I think it's highly amusing that chemists have done the same thing with a molecule (2). Note that the bonds are not O-O bonds, but each has a -CH2CH2- group between them. These are omitted for clarity. END QUOTE The following is my rough drawing of the double ringed perchlorotriphenylamine molecule With the two rings attached by carbon bonds. The Mobius twist between the rings is located at the X in the drawing. The rings are actually one above the other except at the twist, I flattened the rings out to simplify my drawing. The web site has a much better 3D picture. C – O O – 0 – C / \\ X //\ O C – O O – O – C O \ \ / / \ O O / \ \ / / O O O O \ \ / / \ O O / \ \ / / O C O \ II / \ -C-/ Best regards, Your Mad Scientist Adrian Popa
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