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The Math Behind the Batman Curve

by Kenny Hoeschen

The Batman curve equation, made famous a few months ago by a high school teacher who developed the equation as a teaching tool is “probably the most horrific equation ever done on Numberphile.”

James Grime (a mathematician with the University of Cambridge who previously told us about some of the interesting characteristics of the number 42) breaks down the equation using Wolfram Mathematica to see how it was created. He demonstrates that the equation was done using just curves and straight lines, then imaginary numbers were included to hide the parts that are not visible. It’s all pulled together by multiplying each of the equations making up each part. Of course, the Batman logo has evolved over the years, but we think this one most resembles the 1992 Batman Returns logo. Next challenge: the math behind the Green Lantern’s logo. Just be sure to show your work.

Finally, if you want to see the full equation yourself, Wolfram Alpha has posted the equation online.

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