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ERIC Number: EJ856237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0746-8342
A Helical Stairway Project
Farmer, Tom
College Mathematics Journal, v39 n4 p291-298 Sep 2008
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?
Mathematical Association of America. 1529 Eighteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-741-9415; Tel: 202-387-5200; Fax: 202-387-1208; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A