## Description

In this exhibit, you can see on which path an object moves the fastest.

The exhibit consists of three paths that cover the same distance but have different curvatures. You simultaneously release three balls on the paths. The ball on the path with the steepest slope is the fastest to reach the other side, even though it covers the longest distance in length.

This principle is called the “brachistochrone problem.” This is a problem in physics that seeks the shape of a path through which an object, solely under the influence of gravity, moves from point A to point B in the shortest possible time. The interesting thing about this problem is that the fastest route is not always the shortest distance.

The ball following the steepest slope is the fastest downhill, even though it covers the longest distance. This is because the ball can accelerate faster on the steep slope due to the greater gravity acting along the slope.

You see the same thing with slides. A steeper slide will feel faster, even though the distance is longer. The same applies to skiing, where you are faster down a steeper slope than on a more even slope, despite the greater distance.

**Why is a slide curved?**

- Place the three balls at the start.
- Move the lever to the side to drop the balls.
- See how fast the balls are down. Which one is the fastest?