September 19th, 2017, 09:48 AM  #1 
Member Joined: May 2017 From: Slovenia Posts: 89 Thanks: 0  Oriented curve
When is a curve oriented? And why do we orient curves?

September 19th, 2017, 10:33 AM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,261 Thanks: 896 
The graph of the function y= x is the straight line through (0, 0) and (1, 1). That line can be "oriented" so that it goes from (0, 0) to (1, 1) or it can be oriented so that t goes from (1, 1) to (0, 0). Similarly, the unit circle, $\displaystyle x^2+ y^2= 1$ can be oriented "clockwise" or "counterclockwise". There are many reasons why one would want to work with "oriented" curves. One is integration. In Calculus I we learn to integrate from a to b. In Calculus II or III, where we are dealing with functions of more than one variable, we might want to integrate f(x,y) along the line y= x from (0, 0) to (1, 1) or viceversa. We might want to integrate f(x,y) around the unit circle "clockwise" or "counterclockwise".
Last edited by Country Boy; September 19th, 2017 at 11:11 AM. 
September 19th, 2017, 10:44 AM  #3  
Member Joined: May 2017 From: Slovenia Posts: 89 Thanks: 0  Quote:
In my notebook it says: Orientation of the curve is continuous vector function r: KR^3 for which r(A) is unit tangent vector on K for every A E K. what that means?  
September 19th, 2017, 11:14 AM  #4  
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,261 Thanks: 896  Quote:
Quote:
 
September 19th, 2017, 11:45 AM  #5 
Member Joined: May 2017 From: Slovenia Posts: 89 Thanks: 0  
September 19th, 2017, 01:57 PM  #6 
Math Team Joined: Jan 2015 From: Alabama Posts: 3,261 Thanks: 896 
So your function assigns, to every point on curve, K, a vector, a unit tangent vector to K at that point. At every point on a smooth curve, there are two unit tangent vectors pointing in opposite directions. The two different directions assign the two orientations.


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