Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Length of a helix

  1. Jul 22, 2009 #1
    Given the radius and pitch , how can we compute the length of a helix??
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If the helix has radius R and pitch a, meaning that the helix rises a distance a with each loop, parametric equations for the helix are [itex]x= Rcos(t)[/itex], [itex]y= Rsin(t)[/itex], z= at.

    The length of a curve, with x, y, and z functions of t, from t= a to b, is given by
    [tex]\int_a^b\sqrt{\left(\frac{dx}{dt}\right)^2+ \left(\frac{dy}{dt}\right)^2+ \left(\frac{dz}{dt}\right)^2}dt[/tex]
    Can you get it from there?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Length of a helix
  1. A helix formula! (Replies: 0)

  2. Equation of a helix (Replies: 1)

  3. Is this arc length? (Replies: 3)