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James Watt's work on developing the steam engine lead to the discovery of what are now called Watt’s curves and linkages.  The animation above shows how they are constructed from linking a fixed radius to another with a rod. I tweaked the lengths here to make a lovely heart. With different lengths it is possible to make sections of the red curve almost exactly straight. Watt was able to use this to double the power of a beam engine, and nowadays this is used in the suspension systems of some cars. [more] [more2] [code]

James Watt's work on developing the steam engine lead to the discovery of what are now called Watt’s curves and linkages.  The animation above shows how they are constructed from linking a fixed radius to another with a rod. I tweaked the lengths here to make a lovely heart. With different lengths it is possible to make sections of the red curve almost exactly straight. Watt was able to use this to double the power of a beam engine, and nowadays this is used in the suspension systems of some cars. [more] [more2] [code]

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Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

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