The concept of curved space is not readily observable in everyday life. The educational movie “Sphereland” attempts to illuminate the idea. The main character, a hexagon, has to go to great lengths to prove that her world is in fact curved. We present an experiment that demonstrates a new way to determine if a two-dimensional surface, the 2-sphere, is curved. The behavior of an electric field, placed on a spherical surface, is shown to be related to the intrinsic Gaussian curvature. This approach allows students to gain some understanding of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which relates the curvature of spacetime to the presence of mass and energy. Additionally, an opportunity is provided to investigate the dimensionality of Gauss’s law.

1.
Edwin A.
Abbot
,
Flatland
(
Seeley & Company
,
1917
).
2.
Dionys
Burger
,
Sphereland
(
Harper & Row Publishers
,
New York
,
1983
).
3.
Flatland
,” DVD, directed by
Jeffrey
Travis
and
Dano
Johnson
(
Flat World Productions
,
2007
).
4.
Sphereland
,” DVD, directed by
Dano
Johnson
(
Sphere World Productions
,
2012
).
5.
David J.
Griffiths
,
Introduction to Electrodynamics
, 3rd ed. (
Addison-Wesley
,
1999
), p.
68
.
6.
David J.
Griffiths
,
Introduction to Electrodynamics
, p.
87
.
7.
David J.
Griffiths
,
Introduction to Electrodynamics
, pp.
285
287
.
9.
James
Casey
,
Exploring Curvature
(
Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
,
Braunschweig/Wiesbaden
,
1996
), p.
229
.
10.
Martin M.
Lipshchultz
,
Schaum’s Outline of Differential Geometry
(
McGraw-Hill
,
New York
,
1969
), pp.
171
184
.
11.
James B.
Hartle
,
Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein’s General Relativity
(
Addison-Wesley
,
San Francisco
,
2003
), p.
483
.
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