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Introduction to third week

In this article Dr. Yossi Elran introduces what we’re going to learn this week
© Shutterstock
Up until now, we’ve only used two flexes: the book flex for flexagons with square leaves, and the pinch flex for flexagons with triangular leaves. In fact, as we shall see in the last week, these two flexes are equivalent, in the sense that they both change the structure of flexagons in the same way.

But, there are many more flexes. Unlike the pinch flexagon, many of them mix the colors of faces when you use them. This week we’ll learn many of these flexes.

Learning how to flex properly can be tough and takes practice. If we wanted to show you how to do all of them, say, on a hexa-hexa-flexagon, things might get pretty rough.

Scott Sherman came up with a fantastic method for learning each flex, without making things too difficult. He made the smallest, possible flexagon structure that you can do the flex on. That way, you don’t need to worry about getting too much pat structure, or getting lost in the flexagon, or finding the right state to start from.

This week you will:

  • learn about basic flex and basic pat notation – a language Scott Sherman made up to describe flexes and flexagon structure
  • Learn a lot of flexes and try them out on minimal flexagons


Any questions? Feel free to ask and don’t be shy 🙂

© Davidson Institute of Science Education, Weizmann Institute of Science
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Flexagons Galore: Advanced Flexagon Fun

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