Balloons, domes and geometry. (English) Zbl 1184.53007

An area of practical engineering is discussed where differential geometry plays a leading role for providing understanding. In particular, with the advent of new technologies, membranes have found a place in structural engineering as designs for pneumatic domes. The paper presents physical and mathematical ideas relating to the geometry of such domes and balloons.


53A05 Surfaces in Euclidean and related spaces
53B50 Applications of local differential geometry to the sciences