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When is a coffee mug a donut? Nobel Committee member explains it 

STIOCKHOLM: A topologist is a person who cannot tell the difference between a coffee mug and a donut -- so goes a joke about a little-known scientific field crowned Tuesday with a Nobel Physics Prize. The quip describes it perfectly: topology explains how a material's shape can be completely deformed into new one without losing its core properties. In the metaphor, the mug and the donut are one and the same. If they were made out of rubber, one could be twisted and stretched into the shape of the other without changing its…