Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day

Thursday word: lissajous curve

lissajous curve (LEE-suh-zhoo or lee-suh-ZHOO) or lissajous figure - n., a plane curve traced by a point executing two perpendicular, independent harmonic motions with frequencies in a simple ratio.

Two examples, with ratios of 2:1 and 2:3. Curves in the general shape of the 2:1 curve are sometimes informally called lissajous curves (as in the usage example below), but this is not technically correct. These are most commonly seen on oscilloscopes in movies, especially if made in the mid-20th century. Also seen capitalized, as it's named after French physicist Jules Antoine Lissajous, who studied them as part of investigated sound and harmonics. More information is available at the obligatory Wikipedia article and the Math Images wiki, and if you have Java here's a widget to play with.

The spacecraft glided on a beautiful lissajous curve of an orbit around the planet and its moon.

Tags: french, l, mathematical

  • Wednesday Word: Frustum

    Frustum - noun. Another lovely and unique word from the math and science world. Simply put, a frustum (plural frusta or frustums is a cone or…

  • Sunday Word: Voluptuary

    voluptuary [v uh- luhp-choo-er-ee] noun: a person whose life is devoted to luxury and sensual pleasures adjective: of, relating to, or…

  • Wednesday Word: Alla prima

    Alla prima - noun. If you want to sound sophisticated at an artsy gathering, you may want to brush up on (no pun intended) alla prima works such…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded