Concept

Catenary

Summary
In physics and geometry, a catenary (USˈkætənɛri, UKkəˈtiːnəri) is the curve that an idealized hanging chain or cable assumes under its own weight when supported only at its ends in a uniform gravitational field. The catenary curve has a U-like shape, superficially similar in appearance to a parabola, which it is not. The curve appears in the design of certain types of arches and as a cross section of the catenoid—the shape assumed by a soap film bounded by two parallel circular rings. The catenary is also called the alysoid, chainette, or, particularly in the materials sciences, funicular. Rope statics describes catenaries in a classic statics problem involving a hanging rope. Mathematically, the catenary curve is the graph of the hyperbolic cosine function. The surface of revolution of the catenary curve, the catenoid, is a minimal surface, specifically a minimal surface of revolution. A hanging chain will assume a shape of least potential energy which is a catenary. Galileo
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