Hommage à Lissajous


In a darkened room suspend a point of light on a thread from the ceiling; put a camera on the floor; give the source a swing; and open the shutter for a while. The result is a recording of the path of the luminous point.

A simple pendulum, as in a clock, would produce only a straight line, but if the bob can swing in all directions straight lines, circles, and ellipses can be the result:

A Lissajous suspension produces more interesting results. The pendulum has one length in one plane and a shorter one in a swing plane at right angles to it. The result is the family of  Lissajous figures:



This one with an inverted Lissajous system made of two hacksaw blades– planes at right angles. “Pendulum” set on floor; camera above.


And, just for laughs:

This is one continuous line (a tangle).

Tennis, anyone?


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