Category Archives: geometry

Paper torus with Villarceau circles

I made another thing! This is a torus, made from 24 crescent-shaped pieces of paper with slots cut into them so they interlock with each other. I followed these instructions on cutoutfoldup.com. There is also a template with some ideas … Continue reading

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Computing sums of primitive roots

Remember this picture? It, and other pictures like it, express the fact that for a given , if we take the primitive roots for each of the divisors of , together they make up exactly the set of all th … Continue reading

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Sums of primitive roots

In my previous post, we saw that adding up all the complex th roots of unity always yields zero (unless , in which case the sum is ). Intuitively, this is because the roots are symmetrically distributed around the unit … Continue reading

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Sums and symmetry

Let’s continue our exploration of roots of unity. Recall that for any positive integer , there are complex numbers, evenly spaced around the unit circle, whose th power is equal to . These are called the th roots of unity. … Continue reading

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Curvahedra

Everyone should go check out this Kickstarter project for CURVAHEDRA, a sort of construction kit that lets you build beautiful stuff like this: So cool! You can read more about the math behind them here. These are designed by Edmund … Continue reading

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Post without words #12

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Primitive roots of unity

So we have now seen that there are always different complex th roots of unity, that is, complex numbers whose th power is equal to , equally spaced around the circumference of the unit circle. Consider the first th root … Continue reading

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