Cycloid Curves

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The curve traced out by a point on the rim of a circle rolling along a straight line is called a cycloid. Let the radius of the circle be . Allowing the tracing point to be either within or without the circle at a distance from the center generates "curtate" or "prolate" cycloids, respectively. The variable is , limited to the range [0, 2]. For , the result is a straight horizontal line. For , the curve is a curtate cycloid. For , it is an ordinary cycloid. For , it is a prolate cycloid. Note that is allowable but not used here.

Contributed by: Sean Madsen (March 2011)
Additional contributions by: David von Seggern (U. Nevada, Reno)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




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