Total Curvature

total curvature

[′tōd·əl ′kər·və·chər]
The difference between the reciprocals of the radii of curvature of the two surfaces of a lens.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Total Curvature


(or Gaussian curvature), one of the measures of the curvature of a surface in the neighborhood of a point on the surface. The total curvature is equal to the product of the principal curvatures. In the case of a plane and any developable ruled surface, it vanishes. The total curvature of a sphere is constant and is equal to the reciprocal of the square of the sphere’s radius. For a surface that has the shape of an automobile tire, that is, for a torus, the total curvature is negative at the points contiguous to the wheel and positive at the points outside the wheel.

Suppose a neighborhood of a given point Pona surface is mapped into a sphere of unit radius by placing in correspondence with each point of the neighborhood the end point of a radius whose direction is the same as that of the normal to the surface at the point under consideration. The ratio of the area of the part of the sphere obtained to the area of the neighborhood on the surface approaches the total curvature as the neighborhood shrinks toward P. In order for this assertion to be true in all cases, the areas on the sphere must be assigned plus or minus signs when they are calculated. The sign depends on the direction in which the boundary on the sphere is traversed when the region on the surface is traversed in a certain direction.

The total curvature remains unchanged when the surface is bent— that is, when it is deformed in such a way that the lengths of the curves on the surface are not altered.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The court heard that Mills is currently in "very poor health" and suffers from scoliosis which has resulted in a "total curvature" of the spine, meaning he is in "immense pain at all times".
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Theorem D gives a formula on the total curvature over a gradient canyon.
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Willmore: Total Curvature in Riemannian Geometry, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1982.
On the total curvature of immersed manifolds, VI: Submanifolds of finite type and their applications.
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This number is sometimes called the total curvature of the sphere, and is related to the surface area formula for the sphere, A = 4[pi][r.sup.2].
Topologists classify the helicoid as a "complete embedded minimal surface of finite topology with infinite total curvature." The word embedded indicates that the surface doesn't fold back on itself.
This indicates that Axis X3 can be considered a visual channel that detects the degree of total curvature of facial line features independently of their location and sign of the curvature.
The latter class is identified with curve segments whose total curvature is [+ or -] [Pi], i.e., |[Psi]| = [Pi]: their eigenvalue is -[infinity], and they are infinitely unstable.
In image analysis, the study of the curvature is used to measure the total curvature integral which presents topological features, and the mean curvature integral which presents metrical features.