Curvature Measures of 3D Vector Fields and their Applications

Tangent curves are a powerful tool for analyzing and visualizing vector fields. In this paper two of their most important properties are examined: their curvature and torsion. Furthermore, the concept of normal surfaces is introduced to the theory of 3D vector fields, and their Gaussian and mean curvature are analyzed. It is shown that those four curvature measures tend to infinity near critical points of a 3D vector field. Applications utilizing this behaviour for the (topological) treatment of critical points are discussed.