Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible

25Jul/101

Rolling regular n-gons on catenary “roads”

Here's an interesting exploration, illustration courtesy of Mathematica:

There's a nice animated illustration at Mathematica.

A particularly interesting case of a roulette is a regular n-gon rolling on a "road" composed of a sequence of truncated catenaries, as illustrated above. This motion is smooth in the sense that the geometric centroid follows a straight line, although in the case of the rolling equilateral triangle, a physical model would be impossible to construct because the vertices of the triangles would get "stuck" in the ruts (Wagon 2000).

Filed under: Art, Beauty Leave a comment
Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hi
    We’re college student from Chile, and we think that your post it’s very nice, we’re in Catholic University of Maule, we’ll be math teachers, and we need to learn different way to teach the new generation of children. The math class have to be more fun than boring cause we want to teach the new generation of children like that… we think that this may be more easy to learn. We just got a good blog where to find all of this ideas to teach people math.

    The reason of this comment is for we’re doing a homework about the math blog in the internet, for this reason, we would like to know what motivates him to do this blog? If you can answer our question quickly we’ll be very grateful.

    Thanks a lot
    Nadia Lopez & Jose Eduardo Parraguez


Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.