Chirality for crooked curves

Authors: Giovanni Dietler, Rob Kusner, Wöden Kusner, Eric Rawdon, and Piotr Szymczak
Preprint: 2004.10338, 2020
Full text: arXiv


Chiral objects rotate when placed in a collimated flow or wind. We exploit this hydrodynamic intuition to construct a tensorial chirality measure for rigid filaments and curves. This tensor is trace-free, so if a curve has a right-handed twist about some axis, there is a perpendicular axis about which the twist is left-handed. Our measure places minimal requirements on the smoothness of the curve, hence it can be readily used to quantify chirality for biomolecules and polymers, polygonal and rectifiable curves, and other discrete geometrical structures.