generalized tractrix


last updated: 2003-07-19

Given a point P which is fixed to a point Q with an inextensible stick. When P follows a path according curve C1, then Q will follows as path a curve a C2, defined as the tractrix of C1.

Examples in reality are the back wheels of a car (or bike). Then the path of the back wheels is a tractrix of the path of the front wheels.

Some authors call the curve of the dragged object the tractory of curve C, reserving the name tractrix for C1 being a straight line.
The generalized tractrix on this page is a generalization of this straight line tractrix.