A gömböc (pron: 'gømbøts', like "gum-butts") is a three-dimensional geometric shape of a single, uniform material that, when standing freely on a level surface and under a gravitational field normal to the surface, will right itself regardless of starting position.

This means that it has only one stable point of equilibrium, and one unstable point of equilibrium (balanced on its head)

 

It is a Russian invention, conjectured in 1995 by Russian mathematician Vladimir Arnold, and proven in 2006 by Hungarian scientists Gábor Domokos and Péter Várkonyi using mathematics and brainz. In order to construct a gömböc with the desired qualities, a degree of precision approaching 1/1000 must be observed. Due to the high degree of precision needed, a larger gömböc is more likely to perform as desired without being disturbed by dust or irregularities in the surface it's on. Currently, the largest gömböc made is 3m x 3m. It was made for the World Exposition of Shanghai in 2010

That being said, there is more than one way to construct a gömböc.

Many turtles' shells resemble the shape of the gömböc, meaning they can right themselves if they flip without expending much energy.

The exciting thing about the Gömböc is that it is a mono-monostatic body, and not weighted in any way by a material denser than the rest of the body, unlike a roly-poly toy. Its self-righting property is a result of the geometric shape, causing the center of gravity to move towards the object with the highest gravitational pull. (most commonly, the Earth).


It is not in this noder's knowledge whether a gömböc has ever been in space, and what the effects of microgravity are on it, compared to our 1G.

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