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ERIC Number: EJ1173287
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
In Praise of the Catenary
Behroozi, F.
Physics Teacher, v56 n4 p214-217 Apr 2018
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. 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.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A