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Compound Soap Bubbles, Shortest Networks, and Minimal Surfaces
Frank Morgan
AMS-MAA Joint Lecture Series
1992; 60 minutes; DVD
ISBN-10: 0-8218-4444-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-4444-1
List Price: US$25
Order Code: DVD/67
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The study of soap bubbles has long fascinated mathematicians and children alike. In this polished and engaging lecture, Frank Morgan shares his passion for soap bubbles and related topics. The lecture balances intuitive enjoyment and mathematical rigor, indicating the daunting technical challenges the subject poses. Morgan sprinkles enough open questions throughout the lecture to intrigue anyone--for example, it is unknown whether the common triple bubble succeeds in minimizing surface area, or whether there is some as yet undiscovered configuration that encloses the same three volumes with less area. In an entertaining twist, Morgan has the audience vote on which configurations comprise the least area--and the answers are often surprising. Combining intuitive pictures, personal touches, challenging open questions, and humor, this lecture will spark the interest of students and researchers alike. It would be accessible to undergraduate mathematics majors.

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