Journal/Book/Conference Title Title
The Physics Teacher
When a chain hangs loosely from its end points, it takes the familiar form known as the catenary. Power lines, clothes lines, and chain links are familiar examples of the catenary in everyday life. Nevertheless, the subject is conspicuously absent from current introductory physics and calculus courses.1 Even in upper-level physics and math courses, the catenary equation is usually introduced as an example of hyperbolic functions or discussed as an application of the calculus of variations. We present a new derivation of the catenary equation that is suitable for introductory physics and mathematics courses.
Department of Physics
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library
©2018 Fred Behroozi. The copyright holder has granted permission for posting.
Behroozi, Fred, "In Praise of the Catenary" (2018). Faculty Publications. 24.