MathGroup Archive 2002

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  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg37133] lissajous
  • From: "Steve Story" <sbstory at>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2002 05:05:02 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: NC State University
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

When using Parametric Plot to make closed Lissajous curves, it's best not to
take the parameter too far. for instance the code
ParametricPlot[{Sin[t], Sin[2t]}, {t, 0, 10Pi}]

looks much the same if you go to 20Pi or 30 Pi. But if you go too far, say,
1000Pi, the curve will stray so much that it can appear, deceptively, to be
an open Lissajous curve, filling the rectangle. I don't understand how it's
doing this. I assume the reason has to do with machine precision, but can
anyone tell me in a little detail what's happening here?



 Steve Story
 Polymer Research Group
 411B Cox
 North Carolina State University


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