# Difference between revisions of "Brachistochrone"

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A brachistochrone is the curve of fastest descent from <math>A</math> to <math>B</math>. | A brachistochrone is the curve of fastest descent from <math>A</math> to <math>B</math>. | ||

It is described by parametric equations which are simple to derive. | It is described by parametric equations which are simple to derive. | ||

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==From Circle to Cycloid== | ==From Circle to Cycloid== | ||

A cycloid is the path traced by a point on a rolling circle: | A cycloid is the path traced by a point on a rolling circle: | ||

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so the y-coordinate of the point is: <math>a(1-\cos t)</math> | so the y-coordinate of the point is: <math>a(1-\cos t)</math> | ||

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## Latest revision as of 01:41, 27 July 2019

A brachistochrone is the curve of fastest descent from to .
It is described by parametric equations which are simple to derive.

## From Circle to Cycloid

A cycloid is the path traced by a point on a rolling circle:

If the radius of the circle is and the center of the circle is moving at a speed of units per second, then it moves units, or one revolution, every seconds (in other words, it revolves 1 radian per 1 second).

Then

the x-coordinate of the center relative to the ground is:

the x-coordinate of the point relative to the center is:

so the x-coordinate of the point is:

Similarly,

the y-coordinate of the center relative to the ground is:

the y-coordinate of the point relative to the center is:

so the y-coordinate of the point is:

## From Cycloid to Brachistochrone

Since a brachistochrone is an upside-down cycloid, we reverse the sign of y:
This is a brachistochrone starting at .

If you want it to start at you just shift it:

If you want it to go through you need to solve for :

I recommend first solving for in terms of using , then substituting into .