If a sphere is covered in hair then the hair cannot be combed to be smooth all over.

Somewhere on the sphere must be a point or region to which hair is brushed creating a tuft or from which the hair is brushed away creating a bald patch.

For example:

More exactly the theorem states that on a sphere there does not exist an everywhere nonzero tangent vector field.

A result of this is that somewhere on the surface of the Earth, there is always somewhere a point with zero horizontal wind velocity.

It is however possible to comb the hair on a torus to be smooth all over.

Last change to this page
Full Page history
Links to this page
Edit this page
  (with sufficient authority)
Change password
Recent changes
All pages