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Homework Help: Curvature of a Helix

  1. Sep 30, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Find the curvature of a helix given by the parametric equation r(t)=<acost, asint, bt> where a and b are real numbers

    2. Relevant equations

    I know k=|T'(t)/r'(t)|

    3. The attempt at a solution

    and I believe the answer to be k=b/(a2+b2)1/2, I just don't know how to get there
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2008 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I don't know, but your answer disagrees with the simple case where b=0.
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