A logarithmic spiral, equiangular spiral, or growth spiral is a self-similar spiral curve that often appears in nature. The first to describe a logarithmic spiral was Albrecht Dürer (1525) who called it an "eternal line" ("ewige lini").More than a century later, the curve was discussed by Descartes (1638), and later extensively investigated by Jacob Bernoulli, who called it Spira mirabilis, "the marvelous spiral".
The logarithmic spiral can be distinguished from the Archimedean spiral by the fact that the distances between the turnings of a logarithmic spiral increase in geometric progression, while in an Archimedean spiral these distances are constant.
In polar coordinates the logarithmic spiral can be written as
with being the base of natural logarithms, and being real constants.
The logarithmic spiral with the polar equation
can be represented in Cartesian coordinates by
In the complex plane :
Spira mirabilis, Latin for "miraculous spiral", is another name for the logarithmic spiral. Although this curve had already been named by other mathematicians, the specific name ("miraculous" or "marvelous" spiral) was given to this curve by Jacob Bernoulli, because he was fascinated by one of its unique mathematical properties: the size of the spiral increases but its shape is unaltered with each successive curve, a property known as self-similarity. Possibly as a result of this unique property, the spira mirabilis has evolved in nature, appearing in certain growing forms such as nautilus shells and sunflower heads. Jacob Bernoulli wanted such a spiral engraved on his headstone along with the phrase "Eadem mutata resurgo" ("Although changed, I shall arise the same."), but, by error, an Archimedean spiral was placed there instead.
The logarithmic spiral has the following properties (see Spiral):
The golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral that grows outward by a factor of the golden ratio for every 90 degrees of rotation (polar slope angle about 17.03239 degrees). It can be approximated by a "Fibonacci spiral", made of a sequence of quarter circles with radii proportional to Fibonacci numbers.
In several natural phenomena one may find curves that are close to being logarithmic spirals. Here follow some examples and reasons:
In mathematics, the polar coordinate system is a two-dimensional coordinate system in which each point on a plane is determined by a distance from a reference point and an angle from a reference direction. The reference point is called the pole, and the ray from the pole in the reference direction is the polar axis. The distance from the pole is called the radial coordinate, radial distance or simply radius, and the angle is called the angular coordinate, polar angle, or azimuth. The radial coordinate is often denoted by r or ρ, and the angular coordinate by φ, θ, or t. Angles in polar notation are generally expressed in either degrees or radians.
In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point.
A hyperbolic spiral is a plane curve, which can be described in polar coordinates by the equation
A Fermat's spiral or parabolic spiral is a plane curve named after Pierre de Fermat. Its polar coordinate representation is given by
In geometry, a golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor is φ, the golden ratio. That is, a golden spiral gets wider by a factor of φ for every quarter turn it makes.
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In geometry, a nephroid is a specific plane curve whose name means 'kidney-shaped'. Although the term nephroid was used to describe other curves, it was applied to the curve in this article by Proctor in 1878.
In trigonometry, tangent half-angle formulas relate the tangent of half of an angle to trigonometric functions of the entire angle. Among these are the following
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In Euclidean geometry, Ptolemy's theorem is a relation between the four sides and two diagonals of a cyclic quadrilateral. The theorem is named after the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy. Ptolemy used the theorem as an aid to creating his table of chords, a trigonometric table that he applied to astronomy.
The scale of a map is the ratio of a distance on the map to the corresponding distance on the ground. This simple concept is complicated by the curvature of the Earth's surface, which forces scale to vary across a map. Because of this variation, the concept of scale becomes meaningful in two distinct ways.
In mathematics an orthogonal trajectory is a curve, which intersects any curve of a given pencil of (planar) curves orthogonally.
The gradient theorem, also known as the fundamental theorem of calculus for line integrals, says that a line integral through a gradient field can be evaluated by evaluating the original scalar field at the endpoints of the curve. The theorem is a generalization of the fundamental theorem of calculus to any curve in a plane or space rather than just the real line.
The main trigonometric identities between trigonometric functions are proved, using mainly the geometry of the right triangle. For greater and negative angles, see Trigonometric functions.
In mathematics, a mean of circular quantities is a mean which is sometimes better-suited for quantities like angles, daytimes, and fractional parts of real numbers. This is necessary since most of the usual means may not be appropriate on circular quantities. For example, the arithmetic mean of 0° and 360° is 180°, which is misleading because for most purposes 360° is the same thing as 0°. As another example, the "average time" between 11 PM and 1 AM is either midnight or noon, depending on whether the two times are part of a single night or part of a single calendar day. This is one of the simplest examples of statistics of non-Euclidean spaces.
In geometry, the tangential angle of a curve in the Cartesian plane, at a specific point, is the angle between the tangent line to the curve at the given point and the x-axis.
In geometry, a sectrix of Maclaurin is defined as the curve swept out by the point of intersection of two lines which are each revolving at constant rates about different points called poles. Equivalently, a sectrix of Maclaurin can be defined as a curve whose equation in biangular coordinates is linear. The name is derived from the trisectrix of Maclaurin, which is a prominent member of the family, and their sectrix property, which means they can be used to divide an angle into a given number of equal parts. There are special cases are also known as arachnida or araneidans because of their spider-like shape, and Plateau curves after Joseph Plateau who studied them.
For a plane curve C and a given fixed point O, the pedal equation of the curve is a relation between r and p where r is the distance from O to a point on C and p is the perpendicular distance from O to the tangent line to C at the point. The point O is called the pedal point and the values r and p are sometimes called the pedal coordinates of a point relative to the curve and the pedal point. It is also useful to measure the distance of O to the normal even though it is not an independent quantity and it relates to as .
In mathematics, a conical spiral is a curve on a right circular cone, whose floor plan is a plane spiral. If the floor plan is a logarithmic spiral, it is called conchospiral.
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