Bender: Gerbino's Illusion

The applet below is a demonstration of an optical illusion. The idea behind the applet comes from [More Optical Illusions, p. 109]. Play with the applet and see if you can find out what is it about.


This applet requires Sun's Java VM 2 which your browser may perceive as a popup. Which it is not. If you want to see the applet work, visit Sun's website at https://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp, download and install Java VM and enjoy the applet.


Bender: Gerbino's Illusion
What if applet does not run?

A few words.

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Copyright © 1996-2017 Alexander Bogomolny

The applet shows polygons rotating at the vertices of a stationary one. Rotations could be centered at the vertices, or be a little displaced.

It could be observed that sometimes the sides of the stationary polygon appear to be misoriented, like in the first of the two figures above. In the second figure, the stationary shape appears to be circular rather than hexagonal.

Among the stationary figures, the triangle appears the least susceptible to the illusion, while, as the rotating shape, it's the most useful. The original illusion (a hexagon with six small triangles at its vertices) was invented by Italian Walter Gerbino.

References

  1. A. Seckel, More Optical Illusions, Carlton Books, 2002

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Copyright © 1996-2017 Alexander Bogomolny

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