# envelope

(redirected from push the envelope)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

## envelope

1. Biology any enclosing structure, such as a membrane, shell, or skin
2. the bag enclosing the gas in a balloon
3. Maths a curve or surface that is tangent to each one of a group of curves or surfaces
4. Electronics the sealed glass or metal housing of a valve, electric light, etc.
5. Telecomm the outer shape of a modulated wave, formed by the peaks of successive cycles of the carrier wave
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

## Envelope

The boundary that separates a building’s conditioned and unconditioned spaces. The term usually refers to heat and air transfer, such as through walls, windows, and the roof. All of these are part of the building’s envelope. Also, the imaginary shape of a building indicating its maximum volume; used primarily to check the plan, setback, and other restrictions regarding zoning regulations.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

## Envelope

of a family of curves in a plane (or of surfaces in space), a curve (or surface) that touches at each of its points a single curve (or surface) of the family and is geometrically different from that curve (or surface) in an arbitrarily small neighborhood of the point of contact. The equation of the envelope of a plane family of curves defined by the equation f(x, y, C) = 0, which contains a parameter C, can be obtained by eliminating C from the system of equations

Here it is assumed that f(x, y, C) has continuous partial derivatives of the first order with respect to all three arguments. In general, this elimination yields not only the envelope but also the locus of the singular points of the curves of the family, that is, the points for which f″x and f″y, vanish simultaneously.

Figure 1

The following are examples in the plane. (1) The family of circles of radius R whose centers lie on a line has as an envelope a pair of lines parallel to the line of the centers and located at a distance R from that line (see Figure 1). (2) Any curve is the envelope of the family of its tangents and of the family of its circles of curvature. (3) The envelope of the family of normals to a given curve is its evolute (the evolute of an ellipse is shown in Figure 2).

Figure 2

The envelope of a family of surfaces in space may touch each member of the family at a point or along a curve.

For example, (1) the envelope of a family of spheres of radius R with centers lying on a single line is a circular cylinder of radius R whose axis is that line (the cylinder touches each sphere along a circle); (2) the envelope of a family of spheres of radius R whose centers lie in a single plane is a pair of planes parallel to the plane of the centers and located at a distance R from that plane (the planes forming the envelope touch each sphere in a point).

The concept of an envelope has significance not only in geometry but also in certain problems in mathematical analysis (singular solutions in the theory of differential equations) and theoretical physics (the caustic and the wave front in optics).

### REFERENCES

Tolstov, G. P. “K otyskaniiu ogibaiushchei semeistva ploskikh krivykh.” Uspekhi matematicheskikh nauk, 1952, vol. 7, no. 4.
La Vallée Poussin, C. J. de. Kurs analiza beskonechno malykh, vol. 2. Leningrad-Moscow, 1933. (Translated from French.)
Il’in, V. A., and E. G. Pozniak. Osnovy matematicheskogo analiza, 3rd ed., part 1. Moscow, 1971.

## envelope

[′en·və‚lōp]
(communications)
A curve drawn to pass through the peaks of a graph, such as that of a moduated radio-frequency carrier signal.
(cell and molecular biology)
The sum of all cell-surface elements that are located outside the plasma membrane.
(engineering)
The glass or metal housing of an electron tube or the glass housing of an incandescent lamp.
(mathematics)
The envelope of a one-parameter family of curves is a curve which has a common tangent with each member of the family.
The envelope of a one-parameter family of surfaces is the surface swept out by the characteristic curves of the family.
(virology)
The outer membranous lipoprotein coat of certain viruses. Also known as bulb.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

## envelope

1. The imaginary shape of a building indicating its maximum volume; used to check the plan and setback (and similar restrictions) with respect to zoning regulations.
2. The folded-over, continuous edge formed by turning the lowest ply of a built-up roofing membrane over the top surface layer; prevents bitumen from dripping through the exposed edge joints and seepage of water into the insulation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

## envelope

(1) A range of frequencies for a particular operation.

(2) A group of bits or items that is packaged and treated as a single unit.

Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.

## Envelope

(dreams)
Mail or letters usually come in envelopes. When we see envelopes in our dreams, we are typically dreaming about receiving news, information, or messages from someone specific or from the world at large. If you are the individual that looks forward to mail, this dream may be positive. However, if you dread the envelopes that typically hold the monthly bills, then this dream may have negative and anxiety provoking symbolism. Typically, however, dreaming about receiving letters has positive and at times spiritual connotations. You may be coming into awareness about some aspect of your life where you make new realizations and get to the “truth” of things. Some believe that seeing many unopened envelopes in your dreams may represent missed opportunities.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Then, as you get comfortable with investing this much, push the envelope a little.
I wake up in the morning and just think about what stereotypes I want to break and we push the envelope with the last album, with Stronger, with records they thought wouldn't play on urban radio.
Ross Anderson, managing director of interactive services at Posner, said, "We had an idea and a client that is always looking to push the envelope with technology.
And with little to lose, there are few limits to what people are willing to try." In fact, NMI students and HP are continuing to push the envelope of the critical, commercial, and creative dimensions of digital media technology, using more than 200 iPAQ Pocket PCs and HP Tablet PCs in "a wireless cloud"--called WAGzone (Wireless Athens Georgia Zone)--over downtown Athens.
"We told the designers to push the envelope as far as they could with the concept cars," says Trevor Creed, senior vice president Design, Chrysler Group.
I adamantly believe that that issue is his, and until he openly conducts an interview, nobody has the right to push the envelope to such an extreme--especially one that is based on speculation and not fact.
"While gay and lesbian advocacy groups would hope that this case would push the envelope, it is now up to the court," she says.
And because there is currently no real economic incentive to use recycled materials, even automakers that are trying to push the envelope on recycling often find themselves falling back on the tried-and-true.
I don't push the envelope just for the sake of pushing the envelope.
"Lock and load now, and push the envelope - do the best you can," he advised.

Site: Follow: Share:
Open / Close