Applying Parabolas in models
Belinda, a civil engineer, designs a model for the curved cable of a 6 m suspension bridge using the equation , where h metres is the height of the hanging cables above the road for a distance d metres from the left pillar.
What are the possible values for d? Why?
How could you determine the height of the pillars above the road without a graph?
How could you find the minimum height the cable reaches above the road?
What would be the equations needed to add the support cables to the graph shown in the applet above? See if you can add them.
Greenwood, David Michael, Dave Robertson, Sara Woolley, Jennifer Goodman, and Jennifer Vaughan. Essential Mathematics for the Australian Curriculum Year 10. 2nd ed. Essential Mathematics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Electronic Format.