A new solution of the discrete catenary problem
Abstract
We address the very old and famous catenary problem. However, instead of competing with a flexible and continuous chain, we consider a discrete chain made of N identical links. By using the elementary tools of Newtonian mechanics, we show that there is a simple relation between the angles of the links' slope that enable us to find the N discrete chain solution. We also investigate the limit of the continuous chain and show that the discrete solution converges into the wellknown classical solution of the catenary problem. The advantage of this new method is that it better enables the attainment of a physical insight into the problem in a quite simple way, without using advanced mathematics.
 Publication:

European Journal of Physics
 Pub Date:
 March 2020
 DOI:
 10.1088/13616404/ab5c48
 Bibcode:
 2020EJPh...41b5002A
 Keywords:

 discrete and continuous catenary;
 minimum energy;
 torque;
 equilibrium