HCRP project 2008
The original Conchoid of 280 BC
Conchoid of Nicomedes
Office: SciCtr 434
Conchoids of Nicomedes are planar polar curves with r(t) = 1/cos(t) + c, where c is a constant called offset. They are the images of a line under the exponential map of the flat metric. These curves have great historical significance since they were used to tackle classical problems in geometry like angle trisection or cube doubling, problems which can not be solved by ruler and compass alone. One thinks that Conchoids were first used by Nicomedes in 200 BC to solve the angle trisection problem.

Questions and comments to knill@math.harvard.edu
Oliver Knill | Department of Mathematics | Harvard University