The idea of holonomy. Fifty-First Annual DeLong Lectures. University of Colorado at Boulder. October 13, 2014

Invited Talk

The notion of 'holonomy' in mechanical systems has been around for more than a century and gives insight into daily operations as mundane as steering and parallel parking and in understanding the behavior of balls (or more general objects) rolling on a surface with friction. A sample question is this: What is the best way to roll a ball over a flat surface, without twisting or slipping, so that it arrives at at given point with a given orientation? In geometry and physics, holonomy has turned up in many surprising ways and continues to be explored as a fundamental invariant of geometric structures. In this talk, I will illustrate the fundamental ideas in the theory of holonomy using familiar physical objects and explain how it is also related to group theory and symmetries of basic geometric objects.

Service Performed By


  • October 13, 2014

Service or Event Name

  • Fifty-First Annual DeLong Lectures

Host Organization

  • University of Colorado at Boulder

Location or Venue

  • University of Colorado at Boulder