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Suspension bridges

  1. Sep 27, 2007 #1
    What is the name for the shape that the suspensions on a suspension bridge make? I think it is something like canary?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2007 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you thinking of catenary?
  4. Sep 27, 2007 #3
    Yes. Thanks.
  5. Sep 27, 2007 #4
    Not a trivial geometry to derive. I believe Newton was unable to solve this catenary problem, that it required near-18th century mathematics to undertake.
  6. Sep 27, 2007 #5


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    A suspension bridge cable actually makes a parabola, a hanging cable by itself makes a catenary.
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