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Helical path

  1. Jul 5, 2009 #1
    would anybody like to discuss how to accurately follow a particle moving in a HELICAL PATHWAY using vectors, spherical and cylindrical coordinates? I'm not sure how to follow a geometric helical pathway using linear and parametric equations.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2009 #2
    Here's a parametric equation for a helix:

    h(t) = (a cos(t), a sin(t), bt)

    where a > 0, b [tex]\neq[/tex] 0.

    The first two coordinates describe a circle of radius a, and the third coordinate describes a rise (or fall) at a constant rate.


  4. Jul 17, 2009 #3
    h(t) = (a cos(wt), a sin(wt), bt)
    You may also want to control the angular frequency.

    cylindrical is a bit easier
    h(t) = (r,theta,z) = (a,bt,ct)
    The constants a,b,c are new

    Hum... Thinking about spherical

    h(t) = (r,theta,phi) = (a*t*Sin(phi), bt, ?)
    I need another equation somewhere
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
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