The Curve of Least Energy
Here we search for the curve which has the smallest integral of the square of curvature, while passing through two given points with given orientation. This is the true shape of a spline used in lofting. In computer-aided design, curves have been sought which maximize "smoothness". The curve discussed here is the one arising in this way from a commonly used measure of smoothness. The human visual system may use such a curve when it constructs a subjective contour.