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The right-handed helix (cos t, sin t, t) from t = 0 to 4p with arrowheads showing direction of increasing t A helix (pl: helixes or helices) is a type of smooth space curve, i.e. a curve in three-dimensional space. It has the property that the tangent line at any point makes a constant angle with a fixed line called the axis. Examples of helixes are coil springs and the handrails of spiral staircases. A "filled-in" helix – for example, a spiral ramp – is called a helicoid. Helices are important in biology, as the DNA molecule is formed as two intertwined helices, and many proteins have helical substructures, known as alpha helices. The word helix comes from the Greek word ????, "twisted, curved". Cite error: There are tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).
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