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Homework Help: Parabola problem about the sag of a wire

  1. Apr 20, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Determine a function for wire between two poles if the arc of the wire is parabola. For every 75m there is 1m of sag.

    2. Relevant equations
    y = a(x-p)^2 + q

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think that you need to make the lowest point of the wire the origin and hence the resulting equation that needs to be used is y=ax^2 but am unsure what to do from there.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You can make the lowest point the origin. Suppose the distance between the wires is ##2d##, so that the end points of the wire are ##x = -d## and ##x = d##.
    Which three points of the parabola do you know now?
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