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A Cupful of Limašons

M. Treuden
Journal / Anthology

Proceedings of the 8th Annual ICTCM
Year: 1995

Have you ever examined the light patterns on the bottom of a cup or bowl with reflective sides and wondered what shaped you see? If a light source is placed somewhat off center, rather than directly above, you might conjecture that the pattern resembles a cardioid. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how students may furnish some answers by using elementary vector algebra and orthogonal projections with the aid of a computer algebra system (CAS). For instance, if the cup is a simple right circular cylinder, then it will become readily apparent that the image is generated by infinitely many limašons.

*Mathematica Technology > Programming > 2D Graphics