Bernoulli lemniscate

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A plane algebraic curve of order four, the equation of which in orthogonal Cartesian coordinates is:


and in polar coordinates


The Bernoulli lemniscate is symmetric about the coordinate origin (Fig.), which is a node with tangents $y=\pm x$ and the point of inflection.

Figure: b015620a

The product of the distances of any point $M$ to the two given points $F_1(-a,0)$ and $F_2(a,0)$ is equal to the square of the distance between the points $F_1$ and $F_2$. The Bernoulli lemniscate is a special case of the Cassini ovals, the lemniscates, and the sinusoidal spirals (cf. Cassini oval; Sinusoidal spiral).

The Bernoulli spiral was named after Jakob Bernoulli, who gave its equation in 1694.


[1] A.A. Savelov, "Planar curves" , Moscow (1960) (In Russian)



[a1] E. Brieskorn, H. Knörrer, "Plane algebraic curves" , Birkhäuser (1986) (Translated from German)
How to Cite This Entry:
Bernoulli lemniscate. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by D.D. Sokolov (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article