osculating plane
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{{Unreferenced, date=May 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) In
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no general consensus abo ...
, particularly in
differential geometry Differential geometry is a mathematical Mathematics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast E ...
, an osculating plane is a
plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane or aeroplane or informally plane, a powered, fixed-wing aircraft Arts, entertainment and media *Plane (Dungeons & Dragons), Plane (''Dungeons & Dragons''), a location in the multiverse *Plane (Magic: Th ...
in a
Euclidean space Euclidean space is the fundamental space of . Originally, it was the of , but in modern there are Euclidean spaces of any nonnegative integer , including the three-dimensional space and the ''Euclidean plane'' (dimension two). It was introduce ...
or
affine space In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no g ...
which meets a
submanifold In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
at a point in such a way as to have a second order of
contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contact can be formed during deposition, by the intrusion of magma, or through faulting ...
at the point. The word ''osculate'' is from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...
''osculatus'' which is a
past participle In linguistics, a participle () (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through t ...
of ''osculari'', meaning ''to kiss''. An osculating plane is thus a plane which "kisses" a submanifold. The osculating plane in the geometry of Euclidean space curves can be described in terms of the Frenet-Serret formulas as the linear span of the tangent and normal vectors.


See also

* Osculating circle * Differential geometry of curves#Special Frenet vectors and generalized curvatures Differential geometry