Chapter 2

TOPOLOGYMIND-BENDING SHAPES

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Topology is one of many ways to study shapes. In topology, you can deform, or change, a shape in certain ways—by stretching, bulging, or squeezing—without turning it into a different shape. However, the rules of topology say you can’t glue a shape to itself or poke a hole in it, because if you do that, you’ve created a new shape. Topologists study these changeable shapes to explore what other properties of a shape are still important.

Topology is also the study of spaces and how they’re connected. For example, the space ...

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