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Unformatted text preview: Gabriels Wedding Cake Julian F. Fleron The College Mathematics Journal, January 1999, Volume 30, Number 1, pp. 3538 Julian Fleron (j_fleron@foma.wsc.ma.edu) has been Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Westfield State College since completing his Ph.D. in several complex variables at SUNY University at Albany in 1994. He has broad mathematical passions that he strives to share with all of his students, whether mathematics for liberal arts students, preservice teachers, or mathematics majors. Family hobbies include popular music, cooking, and restoring the familys Victorian house. W e obtain the solid which nowadays is commonly, although perhaps inappropriately, known as Gabriels horn by revolving the hyperbola about the line as shown in Fig. 1. (See, e.g., [ 2 ], [ 5 ].) This name comes from the archangel Gabriel who, the Bible tells us, used a horn to announce news that was sometimes heartening (e.g. the birth of Christ in Luke 1) and sometimes fatalistic (e.g. Armageddon in Revelation 811). Figure 1. Gabriels Horn. This object and some of its remarkable properties were first discovered in 1641 by Evangelista Torricelli. At this time Torricelli was a little known mathematician and physicist who was the successor to Galileo at Florence. He would later go on to invent the barometer and make many other important contributions to mathematics and physics....
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