Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?

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Offline Alinta

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Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« on: 06/03/2013 06:39:38 »
If something is the opposite of geodesic (or in other words is not the shortest path between A and B, but rather, takes a slightly deviated path before getting to B) what would the term be for this? Would it just be 'non-geodesic' or 'non-euclidian path' or is there a better term?

I hope this makes sense!

Cheers
Alinta

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Offline Alinta

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #1 on: 06/03/2013 06:57:48 »
And I suppose I should add... in Earth's gravity, is it even possible for an object to not take a geodesic path?

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Offline evan_au

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #2 on: 06/03/2013 09:41:15 »
In a very restricted domain (the surface of an idealised, spherical Earth):
  • The synonym of a "Geodesic" is a "Great Circle", which is the path that a plane or ship would take to get from point A to Point B in the least distance (ignoring minor things like landmasses, ocean/air currents, etc)
  • The antonym of a "Geodesic" is a "Small Circle", which has a smaller radius than a Great Circle, but also takes a longer distance to get from point A to Point B than would a Great Circle(!)
  • It is certainly possible to take a path which is not a geodesic on the Earth - just travel along one of the lines of Latitude; only the Equator is a Great Circle.  ...or just travel along one of our highways...
  • See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_circle

Although the term "Geodesic" is derived from "Geo" for Earth, the mathematical term applies to many different geometries, not just closed ones like a sphere. It can be very difficult to find the genuine shortest path between two points, especially if the shape of the space is complex - and especially if it has holes in it!
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geodesic

...but maybe the question was about the path of an object in orbit around the Earth?

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Offline Don_1

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #3 on: 06/03/2013 16:38:35 »
Geodemax.


I just made that up.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

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Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #4 on: 09/03/2013 11:43:38 »
Drunkard's Walk.
Observe; collate; conjecture; analyse; hypothesise; test; validate; theorise. Repeat until complete.

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Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #5 on: 11/03/2013 03:49:29 »
"taking the scenic route"

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #6 on: 11/03/2013 13:19:58 »
Interesting looking at Evan's link.
Airplanes may choose the geodesic when traveling Westward, but not necessarily when traveling eastward.


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Offline grizelda

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #7 on: 12/03/2013 10:27:10 »
Tunnel vision?

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Offline Lab Rat

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Re: Is there an antonym for the term geodesic?
« Reply #8 on: 12/03/2013 18:37:13 »
Anti-geodesic?  I know, way to be uncreative.  [:)]