# Helical path

1. Jul 5, 2009

### Maxwellkid

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. Jul 5, 2009

### Petek

Here's a parametric equation for a helix:

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

where a > 0, b $$\neq$$ 0.

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

HTH

Petek

3. Jul 17, 2009

### flatmaster

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