The picture


The picture currently at the head of the blog is of James Clerk Maxwell’s zoetrope – which he designed himself as an improvement on the more normal arrangement with slits.  The lenses Mawell used allowed a larger field of view and brighter image.  The strip inside, with rings, was an animation of vortex rings leapfrogging each other – the first example I know of as a moving picture used as a teaching aid.  Circling vortex rings were a popular model of the atom at the time (1860s & 70s).  The zoetrope is in the Museum at the Cavendish Laboratory.  Modern animations of circling vortex rings can be found here
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Photo of Maxwell's zoetrope by Isobel Falconer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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