Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vessels, ropes & icicles

Been looking at boats again. This was a week ago, in Brampton.

CCGS Limnos
CCGS Limnos

Look at the regular icicles hanging from the ropes. For the bottom rope, why are the icicle ends in a horizontal line, as opposed to say, the shape of a catenary, the natural form taken by a rope suspended by its ends? I note the ice build up on top of this second rope... but I do not know the answer to my question. Perhaps I shall play "stump the physicist". I wonder if it's like isostasy. Hmmm....

regular icicles on rope


Marissa Buschow said...

Wow, great shapes going on there. Maybe the proximity to the water melts the icicles at that one point?

minouette said...

Hmmm... maybe.... it's definitely different for the lower rope. If the boat moves, the rope might even get dunked periodically. (There's no significant tide - this is Lake Ontario.)