The U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) is the
same length, about 17 meters wider, has a draft
of less than 13 meters, and at 97,000 tons is
considerably lighter as well as far faster.
We begin with some simple
curves called cycloids. They were
studied by Galileo; stumped
Mersenne; led to a rather bitter
argument between Descartes
and G.P. Roberval (who did
prove the area was 3 pi times the
radius squared in 1634) ; and
fascinated Christopher Wren
(who proved the arc length was 8
times the radius in 1658) as well
as Huygens, Pascal and others.