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Witch of Agnesi

In mathematics, the witch of Agnesi (Italian pronunciation:[a.`ae.zi]), sometimes called the witch of Maria Agnesi is

the curve defined as follows.

The Witch of Agnesi with labeled points

Starting with a fixed circle, a point O on the

circle is chosen. For any other point A on

the circle, the secant line OA is drawn. The

point M is diametrically opposite to O. The

line OA intersects the tangent of M at the

point N. The line parallel to OM through N,

and the line perpendicular to OM through A

intersect at P. As the point A is varied, the

path of P is the witch.

The curve is asymptotic to the line tangent

to the fixed circle through the point O.

Equations

An animation showing the construction of the Witch of Agnesi

Suppose the point O is the origin, and that

M is on the positive y-axis. Suppose the

radius of the circle is a.

Then the curve has Cartesian equation

Note that if a=1/2, then this equation

becomes rather simple:

Parametrically, if is the angle between

OM and OA, measured clockwise, then the

curve is defined by the equations

Another parameterization, with being the angle between OA and the x-axis, increasing anti-clockwise is

Witch of Agnesi

2

Properties

The Witch of Agnesi with parameters a=1, a=2, a=4, and a=8

· The area between the Witch and its

asymptote is four times the area of

the fixed circle (i.e., ).

· The volume of revolution of the

Witch, about its asymptote, is

.

· The centroid of the curve is at

,

which is the same as that of the

generating circle (diameter = 2a).

History

The curve was studied by Pierre de Fermat in 1630. In 1703, Guido Grandi gave a construction for the curve. In

1718 Grandi suggested the name 'versoria' for the curve, the Latin term for sheet, the rope which turns (adjusts the

trim of) the sail, and used the Italian word for it, 'versiera', a hint to sinus versus that appeared in his construction.

[1]

In 1748, Maria Agnesi published her famous summation treatise Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventù

italiana, in which the curve was named according to Grandi, 'versiera'.

[1]

Coincidentally, the contemporary Italian

word 'Aversiera'/'Versiera', derived from Latin 'Adversarius', a nickname for Devil, "Adversary of God", was

synonymous with "witch".

[2]

Probably for this reason Cambridge professor John Colson mistranslated the name of

the curve thus. Different modern works about Agnesi and about the curve suggest slightly different guesses how

exactly this mistranslation happened.

[3][4][5]

Struik mentions that:

The word [versiera] is derived from Latin vertere, to turn, but is also an abbreviation of Italian avversiera,

female devil. Some wit in England once translated it 'witch', and the silly pun is still lovingly preserved in

most of our textbooks in English language. ... The curve had already appeared in the writings of Fermat

(Oeuvres, I, 279-280; III, 233-234) and of others; the name versiera is from Guido Grandi (Quadratura circuli

et hyperbolae, Pisa, 1703). The curve is type 63 in Newton's classification. ... The first to use the term 'witch'

in this sense may have been B. Williamson, Integral calculus, 7 (1875), 173;

[6]

see Oxford English Dictionary.

On the other hand, Stephen Stigler suggests that Grandi himself "may have been indulging in a play on words".

[7]

The Witch of Agnesi is also a fiction novel by Robert Spiller, in which a teacher gives a version of the history of the

term.

[8]

Application

The cross-section of a single water wave has a

shape similar to the Witch of Agnesi.

The curve has applications to real-life phenomena, which has only

come at 1900s and 2000s. The Cartesian equation (above) has occurred

in modeling of some physical phenomena mathematical models:

[9]

the

equation approximates the spectral line distribution of optical lines and

x-rays as well as the amount of power that is dissipated in resonant

circuits.

Formally, the curve is equivalent to the probability density function of the Cauchy distribution.

The cross-section of a smooth hill also has a similar shape. It can be used as a generic topographic obstacle into a

flow, in mathematical modeling works like,

[10]

or.

[11]

Witch of Agnesi

3

Notes

[1] C. Truesdell, "Correction and Additions for 'Maria Gaetana Agnesi'", Archive for History of Exact Science 43 (1991), 385-386.

· Per Grandi: "...nata da' seni versi, che da me suole chiamarsi la Versiera in latino pero Versoria..."

[2] "Vocabolario dell'uso toscano", 1 By Pietro Fanfani, p. 334 (http://books.google.com/ books?id=SOczmy2F2y0C&pg=PA334&

lpg=PA334& dq=versicra&source=bl& ots=uR83eWWp30& sig=efg5mhXOHtdB4XNw0FnSgOAf6zM& hl=en&

ei=7zWPTvHTLsLpsQLbqsidAQ&sa=X& oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2& ved=0CCQQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage& q=versicra&

f=false)

[3] Women in Mathematics By Lynn M. Osen (1975) p. 45

[4] "Fermat's Enigma" by Simon Singh p. 100

[5] The universal book of mathematics. from Abracadabra to Zeno´s paradoxes By David J. Darling (2004) p. 8

[6] "173 Find the area between the witch of Agnesi and its asymptote." (Oxford English Dictionary)

[7] S.M.Stigler, "Cauchy and the witch of Agnesi: An historical note on the Cauchy distribution", Biometrika, 1974, vol. 61, no.2 p. 375-380

[9] http://www. mathsci.appstate.edu/~sjg/wmm/ final/ agnesifinal/applications. pdf

[10] "Mountain Waves the construction of analytical solutions", http:// www. cpom. org/people/ jcrh/jfm-152.pdf

[11] "Press 1 Numerical simulations of stratified inviscid flowover a smooth obstacle", K.G.Lamb, http:// mseas.mit. edu/ download/evheubel/

LambJFM1994. pdf

References

· Weisstein, Eric W., " Witch of Agnesi (http:/ /mathworld.wolfram.com/ WitchofAgnesi.html)", MathWorld.

· "Witch of Agnesi" at MacTutor's Famous Curves Index (http:/ /www-groups. dcs. st-and. ac. uk/ ~history/

Curves/Witch. html)

· "Cubique d'Agnesi" at Encyclopédie des Formes Mathématiques Remarquables (http:/ / www.mathcurve. com/

courbes2d/agnesi/agnesi. shtml) (in French)

· "MacTutor biography of Agnesi" (http://www-groups. dcs. st-and. ac. uk/~history/Biographies/ Agnesi.html).

· John H. Lienhard (2002). "The Witch of Agnesi". The Engines of Our Ingenuity. Episode 1741. NPR. KUHF-FM

Houston.

External links

· Witch of Agnesi (http:/ /demonstrations. wolfram.com/ WitchOfAgnesi/ ) by Chris Boucher based on work by

Eric W. Weisstein, The Wolfram Demonstrations Project.

· The Witch of Agnesi (http://mathforum. org/dynamic/ java_gsp/ witch.html) - Mathforum.org Java applet

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

4

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Maria Gaetana Agnesi y

vianneris reye

Born May 16, 1718

Died January 9, 1799 (aged80)

Residence Italy

Nationality Italy

Fields Mathematics

Notes

Oldest of 21 children

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

[1]

(May 16, 1718 bJanuary 9, 1799) was an Italian mathematician and philosopher.

She is credited with writing the first book discussing both differential and integral calculus and was an honorary

member of the faculty at the University of Bologna.

[2]

She devoted the last four decades of her life to studying theology (especially patristics) and to serving the poor.

Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini, clavicembalist and composer, was her sister.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

5

Early life

Bust oI Maria Gaetana Agnesi in Milan.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi was born in Milan on May 16, 1718, to a

wealthy and literate Iamily.

|3||4||5|

Her Iather wanted to elevate his

Iamily into the Milanese nobility. In order to achieve his goal, he

had married in 1717 Anna Fortunata Brivio. Her mother's death

provided her the excuse to retire Irom public liIe.

Having been born in Milan, Maria was recognized as a child

prodigy very early; she could speak both Italian and French at Iive

years oI age. By her thirteenth birthday she had acquired Greek,

Hebrew, Spanish, German, Latin, and was reIerred to as the

"Walking Polyglot". She even educated her younger brothers.

When she was 9 years old, she composed and delivered an

hour-long speech in Latin to some oI the most distinguished

intellectuals oI the day. The subject was women's right to be

educated. When she was IiIteen, her Iather began to regularly

gather in his house a circle oI the most learned men in Bologna,

beIore whom she read and maintained a series oI theses on the

most abstruse philosophical questions. Records oI these meetings

are given in Charles de Brosses' Lettres sur l´Italie and in the

Propositiones Philosophicae, which her Iather had published in

1738. Maria was very shy in nature and did not like these

meetings. Although her Iather reIused to grant this wish oI joining a convent, he agreed to let her live Irom that time

on in an almost conventual semi-retirement, avoiding all interactions with society and devoting herselI entirely to the

study oI mathematics. During that time, Maria studied both diIIerential and integral calculus. Her Iather, Pietro

Agnesi, also married twice more aIter Maria's mother died, so that Maria Agnesi ended up the oldest oI 21 children.

In addition to her perIormances and lessons, her responsibility was to teach her siblings. This task kept her Irom her

own goal oI entering a convent. Fellow philosophers thought she was extremely beautiIul and her Iamily was

recognized as one oI the wealthiest in Milan.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

6

Contributions to mathematics

*OTUJUV[JPOJBOBMJUJDIF

First page of Instituzioni analitiche

(1748)

The most valuable result of her labours was the Instituzioni analitiche ad uso

della gioventù italiana, a work of great merit, which was published at Milan

in 1748 and "was regarded as the best introduction extant to the works of

Euler."

[6]

The first volume treats of the analysis of finite quantities and the

second of the analysis of infinitesimals. A French translation of the second

volume by P. T. d'Antelmy, with additions by Charles Bossut (1730b1814),

was published in Paris in 1775; and an English translation of the whole work

by John Colson (1680b1760), the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at

Cambridge, "inspected" by John Hellins, was published in 1801 at the

expense of Baron Maseres.

[7]

Witch of Agnesi

The Instituzioni analitiche..., among other things, discussed a curve earlier

studied and constructed by Pierre de Fermat and Guido Grandi. Grandi called

the curve versoria in Latin and suggested the term versiera for Italian,

[8]

possibly as a pun:

[9]

'versoria' is a nautical

term, "sheet", while versiera/aversiera is "she-devil", "witch", from Latin Adversarius, an alias for "devil"

(Adversary of God). For whatever reasons, after translations and publications of the Instituzioni analitiche... the

curve has become known as the "Witch of Agnesi".

Other

Agnesi also wrote a commentary on the Traité analytique des sections coniques du marquis de l´Hôpital, which,

though highly praised by those who saw it in manuscript, was never published.

[10]

Agnesi's diploma from Università di

Bologna

Later life

In 1750, on the illness of her father, she was appointed by Pope Benedict XIV

to the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy and physics at Bologna.

She was the first woman to be appointed professor at a university. After the

death of her father in 1752 she carried out a long-cherished purpose by giving

herself to the study of theology, and especially of the Fathers and devoted

herself to the poor, homeless, and sick. After holding for some years the

office of director of the Hospice Trivulzio for Blue Nuns at Milan, she herself

joined the sisterhood, and in this austere order ended her days, though the

terms of her death are unknown.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

7

Remembrance

· Witch of Agnesi, a curve

· A crater on Venus

[11]

· Asteroid 16765 Agnesi (1996)

References

· This articleincorporates text from a publication now in the public domain:Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911).

Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

[1] Agnesi: ; the "gn" digraph is pronounced with the palatal nasal

[2] According to Dirk Jan Struik, Agnesi is "the first important woman mathematician since Hypatia (fifth century A.D.)".

[4] Maria Gaetana Agnesi (http://www. agnesscott. edu/ Lriddle/WOMEN/ agnesi.htm)

[5] http://press.princeton. edu/ books/ maor/ sidebar_f. pdf

[6] CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Maria Gaetana Agnesi (http://www.newadvent.org/ cathen/ 01214b.htm)

[7] Analytical institutions... (four volumes), London, 1801

[8] C. Truesdell, "Correction and Additions for 'Maria Gaetana Agnesi'", Archive for History of Exact Science 43 (1991), 385-386.

· Per Grandi: "...nata da' seni versi, che da me suole chiamarsi la Versiera in latino pero Versoria..."

[9] S.M.Stigler, "Cauchy and the witch of Agnesi: An historical note on the Cauchy distribution", Biometrika, 1974, vol. 61, no.2 p. 375-380

[10] [10] Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911, p. 378

[11] Atlas of Venus, by Peter John Cattermole, Patrick Moore, 1997, ISBN 0-521-49652-7, p. 112 (http:// books.google.com/

books?id=R3hsaELH9bUC&pg=PA112& dq=agnesi+ crater+ venus&hl=en&ei=a53CTu_iMcmciALW3ojUCw&sa=X& oi=book_result&

ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CFIQ6AEwCA#v=onepage& q&f=false)

· Larson, Ron; Hostetler, Robert P.; and Edwards, Bruce H. (2003). Calculus of a Single Variable. Early

Transcendental Functions (3rd edition). Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-22307-X.

· "Maria Gaetana Agnesi", Biographies of Women Mathematicians (http:/ /www. agnesscott.edu/ lriddle/ women/

agnesi. htm), Agnes Scott College

· Mathematics History archive entry for Maria Gaetana Agnesi at the University of Andrews, Scotland (http:/ /

www-gap.dcs. st-and. ac. uk/~history/Mathematicians/ Agnesi. html)

· EUROPEAN MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY,NEWSLETTER No. 31,March 1999, S. 18 (http:/ /www. emis.de/

newsletter/newsletter31.pdf)

· D. J. Struik, editor, A source book in mathematics, 1200`1800 (Princeton University Press, Princeton, New

Jersey, 1986), pp.178b180. ISBN 0-691-08404-1, ISBN 0-691-02397-2 (pbk).

· Agnes Scott College, Women Mathematicians (http://www.agnesscott.edu/ lriddle/ women/ agnesi. htm)

· CSULA Instructional Web Server (http://instructional1. calstatela. edu/sgray/Agnesi/ )

Further reading

· Kramer, Edna E. (1970). "Agnesi, Maria Gaetana". Dictionary of Scientific Biography 1. New York: Charles

Scribner's Sons. pp.75b77. ISBN0-684-10114-9.

· Mazzotti, Massimo (2001). "Maria Gaetana Agnesi: Mathematics and the making of the Catholic Enlightenment."

Isis. v. 92, n. 4: pp.657b683.

· Mazzotti, Massimo (2007). The world of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, mathematician of God. Baltimore: Johns

Hopkins University Press.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi

8

External links

· Podcast about this scholar (http:// www.uh. edu/engines/ epi1741.htm)

Article Sources and Contributors

9

Article Sources and Contributors

Witch of Agnesi Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=547431761 Contributors: AugPi, Bassbonerocks, Brainpolice, Clíodhna-2, Cntras, Craigy144, Dalahäst, Doctormatt,

Domklyve, Earthlyreason, Emperorbma, Estudiarme, Finn-Zoltan, Giftlite, Goldencako, Goplat, HIM Nguyen, Intelligentsium, Ixfd64, Jesushaces, Jleedev, Jonnabuz, Krauss, Luca Antonelli,

MOiRe, Max Longint, Melchoir, Michael Hardy, MrOllie, NuclearWarfare, PV=nRT, Paul A, Pleasantville, RDBury, Salix alba, Spiritia, Staszek Lem, Stwalkerster, Thiago R Ramos,

ThreePointOneFour, Tide rolls, Urhixidur, Wbeek, XJaM, Anµpeñ Po¬anenko, 56 anonymous edits

Maria Gaetana Agnesi Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=555082387 Contributors: 2602:306:3069:AAB0:B924:912A:6570:34B, 2over0, A little insignificant, AKeen,

Addshore, AgentPeppermint, Alan Liefting, Alexander Tendler, Alexandria, Allens, AnonMoos, Anturiaethwr, ArkinAardvark, BehnamFarid, Bobo192, Brad7777, Briaboru, Burn, CL, Caltas,

CanadianLinuxUser, CanisRufus, Charles Matthews, Chicheley, Closedmouth, Conversion script, Courcelles, D6, DESiegel, Danakil, Danger, Darth Panda, Daufer, Deb, DennyColt, DerHexer,

Dirac1933, Discospinster, Doctormatt, Earthlyreason, EikaKou, Elinruby, Ellipse, Ellmist, Enauspeaker, Eyesnore, Faradayplank, FeanorStar7, Fetchcomms, Finalnight, Finavon, Firefly322,

Fluffernutter, Foskidurius, Funandtrvl, G.dallorto, Gabbe, Gamaliel, Gene Nygaard, Gene.arboit, Gggh, Giftlite, Gogo Dodo, Golbez, Good Olfactory, Guillom, Gwen-chan, HalfShadow, Hbent,

Hotcrocodile, Ian.thomson, Icairns, Impala2009, J.delanoy, Jaredwf, Jauhienij, Jeff G., Jesse V., Jlandweb, JmCor, Jondel, Joseph Solis in Australia, Jugbo, Julescubtree, Jusdafax, Jushi,

Katieh5584, KingTT, L Kensington, LIC Habeeb, LOL, Lampica, Leinad-Z, Logan, Magyarubal, Makemi, Malo, Maria Agnesi, Mathfriend, Matthew Fennell, MattieTK, Mav, Max Longint,

Melchoir, Mendaliv, Mike Rosoft, Mrt3366, Musicmanx18, Nicolae Coman, Not Gay Maria, Ohyeawakeup, Oleg Alexandrov, Oracleofottawa, Organic Cabbage, PappyK, Ph7five, Philip

Trueman, Phoebe, Piolinfax, Pizza Puzzle, Plindenbaum, Pschemp, Psychless, Purnendu Karmakar, RDBury, Rajah, Revent, Rmashhadi, Rmky87, Rocastelo, Rolgiati, Ryan342, SGGH, Sannse,

SarahStierch, Schneelocke, Seraphim, Simplex, Sintaku, Skitheboat1216, SofieElisBexter, Spencer, Spiritia, Spitfire, Sr1111, Staszek Lem, T. Anthony, Telfordbuck, Tempodivalse, TheGrappler,

TheTeranis, Theeighthendless, Tolly4bolly, Tomas e, Tommy2010, Twice25, Unyoyega, Useight, UtherSRG, Vacation9, Vernon39, Vishnava, Viskonsas, Vojvodaen, Vsmith, Wikipelli,

Willking1979, Wisdom89, Wocky, Woohookitty, XJaM, Yintan, ` a b c , 297 anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

10

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

Image:WitchOfAgnesi03a.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:WitchOfAgnesi03a.png License: Public Domain Contributors: Darapti, Doctormatt, Melchoir,

XJamRastafire

Image:Agnesi.gif Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Agnesi.gif License: Public Domain Contributors: Merrill

Image:WitchOfAgnesi04.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:WitchOfAgnesi04.png License: Public Domain Contributors: User Doctormatt on en.wikipedia

File:Shallow water wave.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Shallow_water_wave.png License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Contributors:

Shallow_water_wave.gif: Kraaiennest Deep_water_wave.gif: Kraaiennest derivative work: User A1 (talk)

File:Maria Gaetana Agnesi.jpg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Maria_Gaetana_Agnesi.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: Darapti, Ecummenic, Frank C.

Müller, G.dallorto, Gamaliel, Gene.arboit, Guillom, Materialscientist, Shizhao, Wst

File:5407 - Palazzo di Brera, Milano - Busto a Gaetana Agnesi - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto, 1-Oct-2011.jpg Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:5407_-_Palazzo_di_Brera,_Milano_-_Busto_a_Gaetana_Agnesi_-_Foto_Giovanni_Dall'Orto,_1-Oct-2011.jpg License: Attribution Contributors:

Giovanni Dall'Orto

Image:Il frontispizio delle Instituzioni analitiche dell' Agnesi.png Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Il_frontispizio_delle_Instituzioni_analitiche_dell'_Agnesi.png

License: Public Domain Contributors: Maria Gaetana Agnesi

Image:Il diploma di nomina dell' Agnesi all' Università di Bologna.png Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Il_diploma_di_nomina_dell'_Agnesi_all'_Università_di_Bologna.png License: Public Domain Contributors: Administrative document

File:PD-icon.svg Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:PD-icon.svg License: Public Domain Contributors: Alex.muller, Anomie, Anonymous Dissident, CBM, MBisanz, PBS,

Quadell, Rocket000, Strangerer, Timotheus Canens, 1 anonymous edits

License

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License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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