Science Art: A tightly wrapped trefoil knot, identified as the second member of the glueball spectrum, 2003.

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From John P. Ralston’s “The Bohr Atom of Glueballs,” an article describing how to model an atom using rope and glue. Sort of.

Ralston does say it’s something anyone can do at home:

Measure the {\it lengths} of closed knots tied from ordinary rope. The “double do-nut”, and the beautiful trefoil knot are examples. Tie the knots tightly, and glue or splice the tails into a seamless unity. Compare two knots with corresponding members of the mysterious particle states known as “glueball” candidates in the literature. Propose that the microscopic glueball mass ought to be proportional to the macroscopic mass of the corresponding knot.

Have fun making eternal trefoils!

A “glueball,” by the way, is a hypothetical particle made of nothing but gluons. Nobody’s made one of them yet….