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The Kid Should See This

Parabolas (etc.) by Radiolab + Everynone

A video inspired by the mathematician, Steve Strogatz. At the age of thirteen, Steve was astonished to find that pendulums and water fountains had a strange relationship that had previously been completely hidden from him.

Parabolas (etc.) from Radiolab, which has us running around looking for parabolas everywhere we go. A few comments for the video point out that many of the shapes in the video are not parabolas—”a plane curve which is mirror-symmetrical and is approximately U-shaped”—but are actually catenaries—”the curve that an idealized hanging chain or cable assumes under its own weight when supported only at its ends. The catenary curve has a U-like shape, superficially similar in appearance to a parabolic arch, but it is not a parabola.”

Related exploration: Catenary vs Parabola.

Thanks, @mindfulmimi

Updated video and links.

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This video was posted 9 years ago.

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