臺灣國際科展

The use of Square shaped wheels in ship harbouring using an inverted catenary surface

科展類別
臺灣國際科展作品
屆次
2012年
科別
數學
得獎情形
四等獎
學校名稱
AIS, Vasundhara 6, GZB, India
作者
Bhuwan Agarwal

摘要或動機

Riding around on a flat tire is no fun. It feels really bumpy. But a square wheel may be the ultimate flat tire. There's no way it can roll over a flat, smooth road without jolting the rider again and again. Here, I have constructed a bicycle with square wheels. It's a weird contraption, but you can ride it perfectly smoothly. My secret is the shape of the road over which the wheels roll. A square wheel can roll smoothly, keeping the axle moving in a straight line and at a constant velocity, if it travels over evenly spaced bumps of just the right shape. This special shape is called an inverted catenary. A catenary is the curve describing a rope or chain hanging loosely between two supports. Turn the curve upside down, and you get an inverted catenary--just like one of the bumps in my road. Make the road out of a whole bunch of those bumps all in a row, and you can take your square-wheeled bike for a quick spin. Just as a square rides smoothly across a roadbed of linked inverted catenaries, other regular polygons, including pentagons and hexagons, also ride smoothly over curves made up of appropriately selected pieces of inverted catenaries. As the number of a polygon's sides increases, these catenary segments get shorter and flatter. Ultimately, for an infinite number of sides (in effect, a circle), the curve becomes a straight, horizontal line. In the end, I conclude with possible enhancements in the project that might take us to a whole new world.


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