Pronunciation: /ˈkæt nˌɛr i/ ?
|Manipulative 1: Catenary. Created with GeoGebra.||
A catenary is the shape a wire makes when hanging from
two telephone poles. While it looks like a parabola, it is a hyperbolic cosine
function. The general formula for a catenary is:
where h is the horizontal offset and k is the vertical offset.
The following images are various chains suspended from their ends, forming catenaries.
|Figure 1: Long heavy chain forming a catenary.|
|Figure 1: Long thin chain forming a catenary.|
|Figure 1: Thick wide chain forming a catenary.|
Cite this article as:
Catenary. 2010-01-09. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/c/catenary.html.
2010-01-09: Added "References" (McAdams, David.
2009-09-08: Added images of catenaries and corrected a grammar error. (McAdams, David.
2008-11-25: Changed equations to images (McAdams, David.
2008-11-20: Initial version (McAdams, David.