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Unbroken Circle: Juniata Professor Lectures on Borromean Rings

(Posted February 8, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- David Reingold, professor of chemistry at Juniata College, will lecture on "Borromean Rings in History, Art, Architecture, Religion, Mythology, Communication, Chemistry and Biology" at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Reingold's talk is part of the Bookend Lecture Series, which features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata College faculty.

Reingold will talk about the Borromean Ring, which is a group of three rings that are stuck together as a unit but no two of them are interlocked. The removal of any one ring will cause the other two to fall apart.

This symbol, often used to signify strength and unity, has been used in architecture, corporate logos (Ballantine's Beer, Thyssen-Krupp), religion (to signify the Christian trinity), in the animated film "Quest for Camelot" and on the cover of the Led Zeppelin album "Zoso" or "Led Zeppelin IV."

Reingold spent the fall semester of 2004 on sabbatical at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and the latter half of his talk will detail his attempts to build, while studying at the university, Borromean rings out of molecules. Photos of his travels through Switzerland will be included.

Reingold joined the Juniata faculty in 1988. He was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and to full professor in 1992. He received Juniata's Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service in 2001 and was awarded the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching from the college in 1992.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1971 and went on to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Oregon in 1976. He held a postdoctoral research position at the University of Alberta from 1977 to 1978. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and Lewis and Clark College. He worked as an assistant professor at Haverford College from 1978 to 1979 and at Middlebury College from 1979 to 1986.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.