Home > Appreciation > Turntable Harmonograph

Turntable Harmonograph

I’m not sure if this technically qualifies as a harmonograph, but the images produced by this cool apparatus definitely remind me of Lissajous curves.

The video of this device in action, from Robert Howsare, is definitely worth a look.

An interesting challenge would be to come up with the parametric equations of these curves based on the angular velocity of the two turntables, much like what can be done with actual harmonographs.

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  1. May 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I have a kid in my mathematical art seminar working on building something like this. Awesome.

    • May 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

      What a great project! I look forward to seeing some video.

  2. May 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Andy Rundquist, a physics professor at Hamile University, modeled this in Mathematica. Here’s his post: Turntable spirograph modeling.

    • May 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Cool! Thanks for sharing, John. Although maybe I’ll keep that link secret from my students.

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