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.
(12) Along the stream line xABPJ, 4) =o; and along the jet surface PJ, -1 >49> - oo; and putting 4 = -irs/c - I, the intrinsic quation is irs/c =cot 2 nO, (13) hich for n =I is the evolute of a catenary.
Apollonius' genius takes its highest flight in Book v., where he treats of normals as minimum and maximum straight lines drawn from given points to the curve (independently of tangent properties), discusses how many normals can be drawn from particular points, finds their feet by construction, and gives propositions determining the centre of curvature at any point and leading at once to the Cartesian equation of the evolute of any conic.
His enquiries into evolutes enabled him to prove that the evolute of a cycloid was an equal cycloid, and by utilizing this property he constructed the isochronal pendulum generally known as the cycloidal pendulum.
The intrinsic P equation is s =4a sin 4,, and the equation to the evolute is s= 4a cos 1P, which proves the evolute to be a similar cycloid placed as in fig.
2, in o which the curve QOP is the evolute and QPR FIG.
For a circle, when the rays emanate from any point, the secondary caustic is a limacon, and hence the primary caustic is the evolute of this curve.
The evolute of this ellipse is the caustic required.
If the second medium be more highly refractive than the first, the secondary caustic is a hyperbola having the same focus and centre as before, and the caustic is the evolute of this curve.
When the refracting curve is a circle and the rays emanate from any point, the locus of the secondary caustic is a Cartesian oval, and the evolute of this curve is the required diacaustic. These curves appear to have been first discussed by Gergonne.
F B is the evolute of this circle, and for any radius DE at an angle a and corresponding tangent EG terminated by the evolute, the perpendicular distance of G from the line AD is c(cos a+a sin a).
Many well-known derivative curves present themselves in this manner; thus the variable curve may be the normal (or line at right angles to the tangent) at any point of the given curve; the intersection of the consecutive normals is the centre of curvature; and we have the evolute as at once the locus of the centre of curvature and the envelope of the normal.