# curvature of space curve

I am slightly confused by the following curve $\gamma(t) = (e^t,0,0)$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$. Its curvature, defined as $$\kappa(t) = \frac{\|\dot \gamma(t) \times \ddot \gamma(t)\|}{\|\dot \gamma(t)\|^3}$$ vanishes everywhere, yet if I think about the curve geometrically it does have curvature. What am I missing ? Do I need a unit-speed parametrization to obtain the correct result?

• Your curve is contained in a straight line, the $x$-axis. Jan 26, 2013 at 17:45
• @harlekin You're probably visualizing the curve $(t,e^t,0)$. Jan 26, 2013 at 17:46
• @Sigur, the positive portion of the $x$-axis Jan 26, 2013 at 17:50
Your curve is exactly the interval: $(0,\infty)$ which is essentially a ray and has no curvature. Straight rays/lines have zero curvature.