Tuning Fork for Lissajous Apparatus

Tuning Fork for Lissajous Apparatus

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With a Lissajous apparatus—devised by Jules Antoine Lissajous (1822-1880), a French mathematician—a beam of light is bounced off a mirror attached to a horizontal tuning fork, then off a second mirror attached to a vertical tuning fork, and then onto a wall. The resulting images are the graphs of complex harmonic motions known as Lissajous figures. This example came from the Smithsonian Institution Instrument Room, and was probably made by Koenig in Paris.
Currently not on view
Object Name
tuning fork
Rudolph Koenig
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
overall: 13 in x 3 in x 1 3/8 in; 33.02 cm x 7.62 cm x 3.4925 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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