# Charles & Ray Eames: Mathematica: discrete >< continuous: examples

[LEFT]: DISCRETE: The left side of the egg, and the music box, vary in clearly defined steps.  The spots froming the egg are either black or white.  The music from the music box jumps from one note to another with nothing in between.  Variations of this type are called ‘discontinuous’.  In a discrete process, there is a jump between one state and the next.  Ordinary decimals form a discrete sequence, because the change from one to the next is at least one decimal digit.  A computer based on the rules of decimal calculation is called a digital computor.

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[RIGHT]: The right side of the egg, and the slide trombone, vary in a continuous, uninterrupted gradation.  The tones in the photograph of the egg blend smoothly from one to the other.  The trombone can slide from one note to another.  Variations of this type are called ‘continuous’.  In a continuous process, one state merges imperceptibly into the next.  Some continuous processes are analogous to others, because the underlying mathematics is the same.  A computing device based on such an analogy is called an analogy is called an analog computor.

[text by from the exhibition ‘Mathematica’, by Charles and Ray Eames, 1961]

[reinterpretation of text by Charles and Ray Eames, for the exhibition ‘Mathematica’, 1961]