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Fourier Transform

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerFebruary 17, 2008 1:06 PM


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"I got this tattoo, which encircles my left wrist, in 2000. The tat is described by this function(1/n)*sin(nx)

with n from 1 to 6. I had done a lot of work with fourier transforms on the research project I was involved in as an undergrad physics student, and just find the entire concept very beautiful. At the time that I got the tat, I was a master's student in materials science and was taking a class on fourier optics. As music also plays a very large role in my life, the image/concept has a double meaning for me. As an added 'feature', the artist made a small mistake on the inside of my wrist (the n=4 line disappears for a bit). This really bugged me at first until I decided it was a good metaphor for how the messy reality of life is never perfectly represented by our mathematical theories."

--Andrea Grant (now a climatology PhD student in Switzerland, where nerdy tattoos are still pretty shocking....)

Click here to go to the full Science Tattoo Emporium.

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