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# Helix vs. Spiral

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## Main Difference

The main difference between Helix and Spiral is that the Helix is a smooth space curve and Spiral is a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point.

• Helix

A helix (), plural 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 helices are coil springs and the handrails of spiral staircases. A "filled-in" helix – for example, a "spiral" (helical) 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 ἕλιξ, "twisted, curved".

• Spiral

In mathematics, a spiral is a curve which emanates from a point, moving farther away as it revolves around the point.

Wikipedia
• Helix (noun)

A curve on the surface of a cylinder or cone such that its angle to a plane perpendicular to the axis is constant; the three-dimensional curve seen in a screw or a spiral staircase.

• Helix (noun)

A small volute under the abacus of a Corinthian capital.

• Helix (noun)

The incurved rim of the external ear.

• Helix (noun)

An upside down midair 360° spin in playboating.

• Helix (verb)

To form or cause to form a helix.

• Spiral (noun)

A curve that is the locus of a point that rotates about a fixed point while continuously increasing its distance from that point.

• Spiral (noun)

A helix.

• Spiral (noun)

A self-sustaining process with a lot of momentum involved, so it is difficult to accelerate or stop it at once.

Helical, like a spiral

• Spiral (verb)

To move along the path of a spiral or helix.

"The falling leaves spiralled down from the tree."

• Spiral (verb)

To cause something to spiral.

"You need to learn how to spiral a ball."

• Spiral (verb)

To increase continually.

"Her debts were spiralling out of control."

Wiktionary
• Helix (noun)

A nonplane curve whose tangents are all equally inclined to a given plane. The common helix is the curve formed by the thread of the ordinary screw. It is distinguished from the spiral, all the convolutions of which are in the plane.

• Helix (noun)

A caulicule or little volute under the abacus of the Corinthian capital.

• Helix (noun)

The incurved margin or rim of the external ear. See Illust. of Ear.

• Helix (noun)

A genus of land snails, including a large number of species.

Winding or circling round a center or pole and gradually receding from it; as, the spiral curve of a watch spring.

Winding round a cylinder or imaginary axis, and at the same time rising or advancing forward; winding like the thread of a screw; helical.

Of or pertaining to a spiral; like a spiral.

• Spiral (noun)

A plane curve, not reëntrant, described by a point, called the generatrix, moving along a straight line according to a mathematical law, while the line is revolving about a fixed point called the pole. Cf. Helix.

• Spiral (noun)

Anything which has a spiral form, as a spiral shell.

Webster Dictionary
• Helix (noun)

a curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle

• Helix (noun)

a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops;

"a coil of rope"

• Helix (noun)

type genus of the family Helicidae

• Spiral (noun)

a plane curve traced by a point circling about the center but at ever-greater distances from it

• Spiral (noun)

a curve that lies on the surface of a cylinder or cone and cuts the element at a constant angle

• Spiral (noun)

ornament consisting of a curve on a plane that winds around a center with an increasing distance from the center

• Spiral (noun)

a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops;

"a coil of rope"

• Spiral (noun)

flying downward in a helical path with a large radius

• Spiral (verb)

to wind or move in a spiral course;

"the muscles and nerves of his fine drawn body were coiling for action"

"black smoke coiling up into the sky"

"the young people gyrated on the dance floor"

• Spiral (verb)

form a spiral;

"The path spirals up the mountain"

• Spiral (verb)

move in a spiral or zigzag course

in the shape of a coil

Princeton's WordNet