The determination of the true relation between the length of a pendulum and the time of its oscillation; the invention of the theory of evolutes; the discovery, hence ensuing, that the cycloid is its own evolute, and is strictly isochronous; the ingenious although practically inoperative idea of correcting the "circular error" of the pendulum by applying cycloidal cheeks to clocks - were all contained in this remarkable treatise.

In his investigations respecting cycloidal lines and various spiral curves, his attention was directed to the loxodromic and logarithmic spirals, in the last of which he took particular interest from its remarkable property of reproducing itself under a variety of conditions.