## Is it a parabola or a catenary?

Our logo is a mathematization of the SFUSD logo, which itself uses a facsimile of the Golden Gate Bridge, one of San Francisco's iconic landmarks. In our logo, the bridge is combined with a coordinate plane and the image of a parabola.

*But is the curve of the Golden Gate Bridge a parabola? Or is it a catenary?*## So what about the Golden Gate Bridge?

The cable on which a suspension bridge hangs would, on its own, be a catenary curve. However, the weight of the roadway changes the curve. When that weight is sufficient and the weight of the cable and the wire supporting the bridge is negligible in comparison, then the cable follows a parabola.

If the weight of the cable and supporting wires are not negligible then the analysis is more complex

You can compare the parabola and catenary curves using Geogebra here.

A lengthy explanation of bridges and curves can be found here.

If the weight of the cable and supporting wires are not negligible then the analysis is more complex

You can compare the parabola and catenary curves using Geogebra here.

A lengthy explanation of bridges and curves can be found here.