(Half) Parabola in Nature

Published by patrick honner on

I have a nice watering can with a long, straight spout.  It’s good for watering tiny plants in hard-to-reach places.

It occurred to me that if I held the can so that the long spout were parallel to the ground, the water would probably come out in a parabolic path.  The running water would have a horizontal velocity component, and the vertical component due to gravity would create the parabola

So I took some pictures.

And after playing around with Geogebra for a bit, I had my parabola!

This isn’t quite as pretty as this parabola in nature, but it’s more parabolic than these water spouts at the Detroit Airport.

Categories: Geometry

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


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