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Ring moves on curved path faster

  1. Jun 23, 2013 #1


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    A ring on curved path (say on bent rod) will move longer distance than the one moves on straight line in same interval of time (the two rings are released simultaneously - one moves on curved path and other one moves horizontally) - How to explain? by which principle one can explain?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2013 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Do you have a diagram to illustrate what you mean? Assuming I understand you correctly, why do you think the two rings taking different paths will travel from A to B in the same time?
  4. Jun 23, 2013 #3


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    Homework Helper

    My guess is that the original poster question is similar to which path is best for gravity to pull a ring on a frictionless wire to get from point A to point B in the shortest time. If the goal is to get the same time as a straight line from A to B, then the path of shortest time could be modified in numerous ways to get the time to be the same.
  5. Jun 23, 2013 #4


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    Science Advisor

    This is the so called Brachistochrone problem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachistochrone_curve and is usually solved using the calculus of variations but the resulting curve depends crucially on the setup hence Doc Al's request for a diagram.
  6. Jun 24, 2013 #5


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    Sorry I don't have the diagram. The question asked me over the phone by a teenager - I replied as said by rcgldr in previous post here. But not satisfied really.
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