Meanders

Paul Gailiunas
Renaissance Banff: Mathematics, Music, Art, Culture (2005)
Pages 25–30

Abstract

The shape of a meandering river is approximated by a curve that has a particularly simple equation when expressed in intrinsic coordinates. It is the same shape as the form taken by a strip of spring-steel constrained by bending forces at its ends. These curves are easily generated using computer turtle graphics, as are some related forms. An extension into three dimensions produces a range of sculptural forms, some of which correspond to existing works of art.

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