Astroid as Catacaustic of Deltoid - Xah Lee

Astroid as Catacaustic of Deltoid

This image, drawn by Xah Lee, shows a deltoid and its catacaustic. The deltoid is the curve traced by a point on the perimeter of a circle that is rolling inside a fixed circle whose radius is three times as big. It’s called a deltoid because it looks a bit like the Greek letter delta: $\Delta$. The catacaustic of a curve in the plane is the envelope of rays emitted from some source and reflected off that curve.

Enneper Surface

This is the Enneper surface, as drawn by Greg Egan using Mathematica. It’s a minimal surface, meaning one that necessarily gets more area if you warp any small patch of it. A soap film will make a minimal surface if it doesn’t enclose any air. But the Enneper surface intersects itself: it’s immersed in 3d space, but not embedded. So, you can’t make it with soapy water!