This is a visualization of what happens when Pappus's theorem is iterated. Pappus's theorem is a basic theorem in projective geometry, going back to Pappus of Alexandria, an ancient Greek mathematician. The image illustrates the research in the paper Pappus's Theorem and the Modular Group, I.H.E.S. Publications Mathematiques , Vol. 78 pp. 187-206, by Richard Evan Schwartz. Credit: Rich Schwartz. Courtesy: National Science Foundation.
The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish physicist and Christian minister. The origin of the word kaleidoscope speaks to the splendid images. Kaleidoscope finds its roots in the Greek word kalos meaning beautiful, the Indo-european eidos that means form, and scope that is Greek for to see.