We establish an instructive experiment to investigate the minimum time curve traveled by a small billiard ball rolling in a grooved track under gravity. Our intention is to popularize the concept of minimum time curves anew for pedagogical reasons and to propose it as a feasible physics experiment both for freshmen and sophomore classes. The experiment is simplified enough to provide motivation for the students. We observed that even the students who were not physics majors enjoyed such a cycloid experiment.
Cycloid, minimum time curve, experiment
AKOGLU, RESAT; MAZHARIMOUSAVI, SEYEDHABIBOLLAH; and HALILSOY, MUSTAFA
"Cycloid experiment for freshmen physics labs,"
Turkish Journal of Physics: Vol. 42:
1, Article 10.
Available at: https://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/physics/vol42/iss1/10