Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The helicoid is one of the first minimal surfaces discovered. Its name derives from its similarity to the helix: for every point on the helicoid there is a helix contained in the helicoid which passes through that point.
The helicoid is also a ruled surface, meaning that it is a trace of a line. Alternatively, for any point on the surface, there is a line on the surface passing through it.
The helicoid and the catenoid are parts of a family of helicoid-catenoid minimal surfaces.
where both ρ and θ range from negative infinity to positive infinity.
The helicoid is homeomorphic to the plane . To see this, let alpha decrease continuously from its given value down to zero. Each intermediate value of α will describe a different helicoid, until α = 0 is reached and the helicoid becomes a plane (a plane is a degenerate helicoid).
A plane can be turned into a helicoid by choosing a line on the plane (call it an axis) then twisting the plane around that axis.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details