## What is the shape of a hanging cable? |

**Susan Niefield**

Union College

October 4, 2007

4:00 pm

Bailey Hall 201

Refreshments will be served at 3:45 in Bailey 204

If you think it looks like a parabola, you're in good company. Galileo thought so, too. But, in 1646 at age 17, Christiaan Huygens showed that Galileo was wrong! Later, Huygens coined the name ``catenary" for the shape of a hanging cable and in 1691, together with Leibniz and one of the Bernoulli brothers, discovered an equation for the curve. In this talk, we will use exponential functions and integral calculus to derive an equation for the catenary curve.

For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.

Union College Math Department Home PageComments to: math@union.edu Created automatically on: Tue Oct 23 17:41:23 EDT 2018 |