Curvature line

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A line on a surface at each point of which the tangent has one of the principal directions. The curvature lines are defined by the equation


where $E,F,G$ are the coefficients of the first fundamental form of the surface, and $L,M,N$ those of the second fundamental form. The normals to the surface along curvature lines form a developable surface. The curvature lines on a surface of revolution are the meridians and the parallels of latitude. The curvature lines on a developable surface are its generators (which are straight lines) and the lines orthogonal to them.



[a1] D.J. Struik, "Differential geometry" , Addison-Wesley (1950)
How to Cite This Entry:
Curvature line. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This article was adapted from an original article by A.B. Ivanov (originator), which appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098. See original article