Yesterday’s Google doodle got science people fired up.

I got the periodic/wave/Hertz thing. But I tried to see “Google” in it and failed. So I tuned out, feeling annoyed.

Then Frank Noschese, high school physics (etc.) teacher and all around smart person stepped in:

Is anyone else upset that the Hertz Google doodle isn't actually sinusoidal in shape?

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Frank Noschese (@fnoschese) February 23, 2012

Conversation ensued. Basically, Chris Lusto (high school math teacher and all around smart person) and Frank went back and forth on what exactly constitutes a *sinusoidal curve. *

On Twitter.

Now I was interested. Lusto’s question prompted me to respond:

@Trianglemancsd @fnoschese So the question is, do we care about finite vs. infinite wave combinations? bit.ly/zzFSca

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Mr. Lusto (@Lustomatical) February 23, 2012

And then this question got inside my head. Is it still *sinusoidal* if it’s composed of an infinite series of sinusoids?

I didn’t care even a little bit what the formal definition would be. I was struggling with the spirit of things. Does it make sense to call this thing *sinusoidal*?

And then walking to the parking lot at 9:00 at night, it struck me.

@Lustomatical @fnoschese That doodle is sinusoidal like e^x is polynomial.

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Christopher (@Trianglemancsd) February 23, 2012

On Twitter.

I wonder if what the Fourier series of the doodle looks like… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_series

I think you missed the point. The artist couldn’t handle a sine curve and drew a circular arc instead. Sheer laziness.

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