A Helical Stairway Project
Abstract:We answer a geometric question that was raised by the carpenter in charge of erecting helical stairs in a 10-story hospital. The explanation involves the equations of lines, planes, and helices in three-dimensional space. A brief version of the question is this: If A and B are points on a cylinder and the line segment AB is projected radially onto the cylinder, then how non-helical is this curve?
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-09-01
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- The College Mathematics Journal is designed to enhance classroom learning and stimulate thinking regarding undergraduate mathematics. CMJ publishes articles, short Classroom Capsules, problems, solutions, media reviews and other pieces. All are aimed at the college mathematics curriculum with emphasis on topics taught in the first two years.
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