Tag Archives: Ellipse

Hewelianum Centre in Gdansk

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

I visited the Hewelianum Centre when I was in Gdansk and I discovered a new science museum which must be located in all the tourist guides:

The Hewelianum Centre is an educational and recreational centre for all age groups situated on the grounds of the Fort Góra Gradowa. The view from the top of the hill is the panorama of the historic town and the industrial landscape of the shipyard grounds. A picturesque park and a complex of restored 19th-century military remains hosting interactive exhibitions – this is today’s image of the Fort of Góra Gradowa.

Science popularization is the main objective of the Hewelianum Centre. Interactive and multimedia exhibitions and popular science events disclose the mysteries of physics and astronomy, transfer the visitors to the past, making the historic events better understandable in the present, teach how to be sensitive to the beauty of nature, and strengthen in visitors the belief that we are all responsible for our planet. In Hewelianum Centre you can perceive the world, learn about it, and relax yourself in an interactive, creative, and innovative way!

One of the exhibitions is called “Puzzle” (why not “Maths”?) and it’s a place where people can play with Mathematics:

Break the code and discover a new dimension of mathematics!

The “Puzzle” exhibition is a three-dimensional space: mathematical, interactive, and unconventional. It consists of more than 20 stations for experimenting – where mathematics governs, but in an unprecedented way!

By crossing the mathematical “puzzle” threshold, we enter the world of geometry, symmetry, and numbers. The mathematical setting, however, is only a backdrop for interactive learning and fun. A collection of the exhibition’s main attractions includes the multiplication tower, the Pythagorean theorem in liquid form, and the Möbius strip. Here you can also see what your face would look like if it were composed of two left or two right halves or check whether a meter is the same length for all. Visiting the mathematical “Puzzle” is a perfect idea for a unique scientific experience.

The exhibition is located in the Guardhouse over the Mortar Battery postern

The room is small but all the walls and corners are full of Maths experiments:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

For example, there is a Galton box (or Bean machine) where Pascal’s triangle and the Gaussian function can be observed perfectly.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

You can also play with the Towers of Hanoi and discover that the minimum number of moves required to solve the puzzle is 2n – 1, where n is the number of disks (this problem was first publicized in the West by Édouard Lucas in 1883):

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Did you know that it’s possible to construct a byke with squared wheels? Yes, of course. The path for this bike must be formed by contiguous series of inverted catenaries!

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

And had you ever seen such a wonderful way to demonstrate the Theorem of Pythagoras? Water inside the square constructed on the hypothenusa fills perfectly in the two squares constructed on the other two sides:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Obviously, there are Möbius strips and Klein’s bottles:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

And you can play with the light to discover the four conics:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

There are poster about a lot of mathematical subjects but tha puzzle that fascinatd so much to my son and daughter was this experiment with volumes. They discovered that the volume of a prism is three times the volume of the corresponding pyramid although they played with the red sand preparing cornflakes for breakfast!

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

If you visit Gdansk you must go to Hewelianum Centre and really enjoy Maths!

Location: Hewelianum Centre in Gdansk (map)

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Copernicus Science Centre

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

We went to the Centrum Nauki Kopernik in our last day in Warsaw which is a very interesting science museum. The building design was developed by young Polish architects from the firm RAr-2 in Ruda Śląska, who won an architectural competition in December 2005.

There are a lot of different rooms and interactive exhibitions and… there are also a lot of mathematical objects which you can touch and play with them. For example, you can see the Archimedes screw:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Water flows forwards and upwards in this simple hand pump, which works just like the rotating blade in an old-fashioned meat mincer. Many places around the world still use such a device to pump water, and it is frequently used to pump sewage in modern sewage systems. It was used for reclaiming land from under sea level in the Netherlands, and it was even used instead of traditional caterpillar tracks on Soviet armoured vehicles! Its key advantage is very simple: it doesn’t contain any complicated mechanisms that may break down.

You can also play with a Möbius band…

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

…or discover the conics rotating a cone full of blue water:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Here you have a beautiful parabola:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

You can also play with the parabola using it as a communication device. Outside the museum there are two parabolas: you talk in one of them and you listen the message in the other:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

There are models of the Solar system, astronomical and optical experiments… and in the cinematic corner, the cycloid is very important because its property of… play with it! I’ve talked about it before!

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Finally, the museum receives the visitors with this big Foucault pendulum:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

It was a very nice experience!

Location: Centrum Nauki Kopernik (map)

The Verona Arena

The Arena of VeronaPhotography by Carlos Dorce

The Arena of Verona
Photography by Carlos Dorce

We have moved from Firenze to Venice and we have had lunch in Verona. Verona is very famous for being the stage of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as we can read in the prologue:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

However, the main tourist attraction of he city is the Arena which is a Roman amphitheater built in the Ist century AD.  It was the forth biggest amphitheater of the Roman Empire due to its 30.000 “seats”. Mathematically, we can stand out the elliptical shape of its stage so we have again another mathematical reason to admire this Roman monument.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

Location: Arena (map)