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Orbifold Pinball

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Author:Yevgeniy Dodis; The Geometry Center
Description: A game in which you roll a ball on an unusual playing field. The game board is like ordinary pinball in that it features 'bumpers' off which the ball can bounce. But in this game, the board is 'curved' in such a way that a ball barely missing the bumper will still be whipped around in nearly the same way as if it had actually hit the bumper itself. Given this requirement, the curvature of the board is designed to be as uniform as possible. (The board's shape is an example of what mathematicians call an orbifold.)

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Games, Lesson Plans and Activities
Math Topics: Symmetry/Tessellations

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