When geometers want to identify a complicated shape, they often look for clues in what it's wearing. These drawings show variations on a “pinstripe suit” tailored to fit a shape that appears in string theory research. Halfway through the sequence of variations, the cut of the suit changes dramatically: the pinstripes go from spiraling clockwise to spiraling counterclockwise. At the moment of the change, a distinctive pattern of concentric circles appears—a signature style that not only identifies the shape the suit fits, but also reveals features of the string theory the shape comes from.
Individual pinstripes are visible in this magnified view.