# Secrets of the NOTHING GRINDER | Summary and Q&A

1.2M views
December 7, 2018
by
Mathologer
Secrets of the NOTHING GRINDER

## TL;DR

This video explores the fascinating trammel of Archimedes, a machine that seemingly does nothing but actually produces various curves and shapes, particularly ellipses.

## Key Insights

• 💠 The trammel of Archimedes, also known as the nothing grinder, appears to do nothing but actually produces various curves and shapes, particularly ellipses.
• 🎚️ By using linear sliders, the trammel of Archimedes can produce ellipses of different shapes, with squishing a circle being the mathematical method behind it.
• 🦾 The ellipseograph, a mechanical drawing tool based on the trammel of Archimedes, was used in the past for accurately drawing ellipses.
• 👻 The phenomenon observed in the trammel of Archimedes is known as the Tusi couple, which allows for the generation of ellipses and the addition of multiple linear sliders.
• 🧘 The trammel of Archimedes can also produce other spirograph-like curves by modifying the positions and size of its components.
• 😌 The mathematical explanation behind the trammel's ability to produce ellipses lies in the parameterization of the ellipse through the squishing of a circle.
• 🤣 Visual proofs, like the Tusi couple and the rolling action of the trammel, help understand and demonstrate its mechanisms.

## Transcript

Welcome to another Mathologer video. Today's mission is to do nothing. Well sort of. Today we'll reveal the secrets of the mysterious trammel of Archimedes also known as the nothing grinder. This gadget here is the basic model but there are many more complicated incarnations. Lots of really satisfying visual aha moments and beautiful maths coming y... Read More

### Q: What does the trammel of Archimedes, or the nothing grinder, appear to do at first glance?

At first glance, the trammel of Archimedes seems to do nothing but spin aimlessly like a fidget spinner.

### Q: How does the trammel of Archimedes produce ellipses?

By using linear sliders and squishing a circle in one direction, the trammel of Archimedes can generate ellipses of various shapes.

### Q: Was the trammel of Archimedes ever used practically?

Yes, in the past, before the advent of computers, the ellipseograph, a mechanical drawing tool based on the trammel of Archimedes, was widely used for accurately drawing ellipses.

### Q: Can the trammel of Archimedes accommodate more than two linear sliders?

Yes, the trammel can accommodate additional linear sliders, and with each added slider, the machine can trace more ellipses.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• The trammel of Archimedes, also known as the nothing grinder or do nothing machine, appears to be a pointless gadget that just spins. However, it actually traces different curves and shapes, particularly ellipses.

• Using linear sliders, the trammel can produce ellipses of various shapes. This is done by squishing a circle in one direction, resulting in ellipses that resemble the original circle.

• The trammel of Archimedes finds practical use in mechanical drawing tools, particularly the ellipseograph. This tool, which can adjust the positions of its components, allows for accurate drawing of ellipses.