Here we shall make use of the definition of circle of curvature given in §12.6. Draw a figure showing the tangent line, circle of curvature, radius of curvature, and center of curvature corresponding to the point on the curve. For example, in Figure 14.1, replace by , replace by , and imagine the tangent line to the curve drawn at . Call the origin in the plane , the projection of to the -axis , the projection of to the -axis , and call the projection of onto the segment . This is depicted in Figure 14.2.
From (9.8) [§9.4], and (12.5) [12.5],
Therefore, by (12.3) [§12.4], the curvature ; and from (12.5) [§12.5], and (14.9) [§14.2], we see that in general , , increase without limit as the second derivative approaches zero. That is, if we suppose with its tangent to move along the curve to , at the point of inflection the curvature is zero, the rotation of the tangent is momentarily arrested, and as the direction of rotation changes, the center of curvature moves out indefinitely and the radius of curvature becomes infinite.
Solution. ; .
(b) is the center of curvature corresponding to the vertex .
david joyner 2008-11-22