Generic isotopies of plane curves

J.W. Bruce

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


    The aim of this paper is to explore some facets of the geometry of generic isotopies of plane curves. Our major tool will be the paper of Arnol'd [1] on the evolution of wavefronts. The sort of questions one can ask are: in a generic isotopy of a plane curve how are vertices created and destroyed? How does the dual evolve? How can the Gauss map change? In attempting to answer these questions we are taking advantage of the fact that these phenomena are all naturally associated with singularities of type Ak. Now the bifurcation set of an Ak+1 singularity and the discriminant set of an Ak singularity coincide. So we can apply Arnol'd's results on one parameter families of Legendre (discriminant) singularities (e.g. the duals) to get information on one parameter families of Lagrange (bifurcation) singularities (e.g. the evolutes). For bifurcation sets of functions with singularities other than those of type Ak one runs up against problems with smooth moduli—see [4].
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-206
    JournalGlasgow Mathematical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1983


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