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Lecture# Principal Curvatures: Gaussian Curvature

Description

This lecture covers the concept of principal curvatures and Gaussian curvature in the context of minimal surfaces. Starting with the definition of mean curvature, the instructor explains how to calculate the Gaussian curvature and its significance in determining minimal surfaces. Through examples like the helicoid, the lecture demonstrates the application of these concepts in real-world scenarios. The discussion also includes the calculation of principal curvatures and the roots of the characteristic polynomial. The session concludes with a preview of the upcoming topic on Gaussian curvature applications.

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Related concepts (31)

MATH-123(b): Geometry

Ce cours donne une introduction à la géométrie des courbes et des surfaces.

In mathematics, the mean curvature of a surface is an extrinsic measure of curvature that comes from differential geometry and that locally describes the curvature of an embedded surface in some ambient space such as Euclidean space. The concept was used by Sophie Germain in her work on elasticity theory. Jean Baptiste Marie Meusnier used it in 1776, in his studies of minimal surfaces.

In mathematics, curvature is any of several strongly related concepts in geometry. Intuitively, the curvature is the amount by which a curve deviates from being a straight line, or a surface deviates from being a plane. For curves, the canonical example is that of a circle, which has a curvature equal to the reciprocal of its radius. Smaller circles bend more sharply, and hence have higher curvature. The curvature at a point of a differentiable curve is the curvature of its osculating circle, that is the circle that best approximates the curve near this point.

In differential geometry, the Gaussian curvature or Gauss curvature Κ of a smooth surface in three-dimensional space at a point is the product of the principal curvatures, κ1 and κ2, at the given point: The Gaussian radius of curvature is the reciprocal of Κ. For example, a sphere of radius r has Gaussian curvature 1/r2 everywhere, and a flat plane and a cylinder have Gaussian curvature zero everywhere. The Gaussian curvature can also be negative, as in the case of a hyperboloid or the inside of a torus.

In mathematics, a surface is a mathematical model of the common concept of a surface. It is a generalization of a plane, but, unlike a plane, it may be curved; this is analogous to a curve generalizing a straight line. There are several more precise definitions, depending on the context and the mathematical tools that are used for the study. The simplest mathematical surfaces are planes and spheres in the Euclidean 3-space. The exact definition of a surface may depend on the context.

In differential geometry, the two principal curvatures at a given point of a surface are the maximum and minimum values of the curvature as expressed by the eigenvalues of the shape operator at that point. They measure how the surface bends by different amounts in different directions at that point. At each point p of a differentiable surface in 3-dimensional Euclidean space one may choose a unit normal vector. A normal plane at p is one that contains the normal vector, and will therefore also contain a unique direction tangent to the surface and cut the surface in a plane curve, called normal section.