Rolling a Circle on a Parabola

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A single fixed point on a circle creates a path as the circle rolls without slipping on the inside of a parabola. This path is an example of a type of curve called a roulette. When a circle rolls along a straight line the path is called a cycloid, so the one shown here might be called a parabolic cycloid.

Contributed by: Charlie Fang and Nicholas Sutardja (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




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