A friend posted this on Facebook so I thought I would share it here
with myjewelry friends. I get lost a bit when the math starts but it
is a very good article.
Many hoards found in Ireland, Scotland, Orkney Islands, and
Scandinavia demonstrate the vikings ability to fabricate
beautiful arm and neck rings of twisted silver and gold rods.
Characteristic for such rings is the uniform appearance of the
twisted pattern along the length of the arm ring, as well as
from one arm ring to another, also when found at distant
geographical locations. How can the appearance of the twisted
wires be so perfectly repetitive? We demonstrate that the answer
is that the vikings utilized a self-forming motif: The pattern
arises from a twisting of the wires to a maximally rotated
configuration. That is why the twist patterns in these arm and
neck rings are beautiful, repetitive, and universal.