Jules Antoine Lissajous

Easily mistaken for the infinity sign, a circle, or any number of more complex pretzels and knots, the Lissajous figure is a picture of compound harmonic motion named for French physicist and mathematician Jules Antoine Lissajous (1822–1880). The shape is drawn by plotting a two-variable parametric equation as it iterates itself over time — the resulting figure is the picture of two systems falling into and out of phase. These two varying signals produce a perpetual infinity (figuratively and literally as it will actually construct itself in the shape of the infinity sign given the right initial values). Any figure may ...

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