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The cable of a uniformly loaded suspension bridge hangs in the form of a parabola. The roadway which is horizontal and 100 m long is supported by vertical wires attached to the cable, the longest wire being 30 m and the shortest being 6 m. Find the length

3.  The cable of a uniformly loaded suspension bridge hangs in the form of a parabola. The roadway which is horizontal and 100 m long is supported by vertical wires attached to the cable, the longest wire being 30 m and the shortest being 6 m Find the length of a supporting wire attached to the roadway 18 m from the middle

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Given,

The width of the parabolic cable = 100m

The length of the shorter supportive wire attached =  6m

The length of the longer supportive wire attached = 30m

Since the rope opens towards upwards, the equation will be of the form 

x^2=4ay

Now if we consider origin at the centre of the rope, the equation of the curve will pass through points, (50,30-6)=(50,24)

24^2=4a50

a=\frac{625}{24}

Hence the equation of the parabola is 

x^2=4\times \frac{625}{24}\times y

x^2= \frac{625}{6}\times y

Now at a point, 18 m right from the centre of the rope, the x coordinate of that point will be 18, so by the equation, the y-coordinate will be

y=\frac{x^2}{4a}=\frac{18^2}{4\times \frac{625}{6}}\approx 3.11m

Hence the length of the supporting wire attached to roadway from the middle is 3.11+6=9.11m.

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