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Chirality in the weave

Nov 11, 2020

The tensegrity tetrahedron is chiral, as shown here in the vintage "Tensegritoy" - notice the overlapping struts create a weave as the apex triangle is spiralling leftwards with its sinistral chirality. The tetra on the right is spiralling right with its dextral chirality. Carbon is at the core of the chirality in the amino acid and both are tetrahedral, and so is the water molecule.

Chirality, Greek for handedness, is everywhere in nature. From atomic particles to molecules and up the size scale through tissues into limbs and body segments, our bodies display a range of examples. To be chiral is to have a mate, to be a pair. Members of such a pair are said to be nonsuperimposable. That is, like Jenna and I in this old photo, the two figures are doing the exact same thing and yet completely the opposite direction.

 

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