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Math Help - terminology to describe curved surface

  1. #1
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    terminology to describe curved surface

    Hello, I am wondering what terminology I should use to describe a simple distinction between two types of curved surface. The distinction I want to make is between the sort of surface you might get on a cone, or a cone-like solid with an elliptical base, etc. (sorry, don't know if there is a general term), and the sort of surface you would find on a sphere, or on any number of more complex objects-without-edges. Could you describe the first sort of curved surface as being curved in only two dimensions and the second as being curved in three dimensions? Or is the first actually only curved "in" one dimension? Also, I can't quite get my head around whether the curved surface of a cylinder is fundamentally different from that or a cone, or whether it is the same category of surface on a different category of solid...

    I think the sort of surface I want a name for is any surface that is curved, but on which it is still possible to draw a straight line (i.e. a line that is straight in three dimensions).
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  2. #2
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    OK, to answer my own question after a bit of research, I think the type of surface I want to refer to is one without(?) Gaussian curvature (or with constant Gaussian curvature?) If someone could confirm this I'd be grateful. From my personal viewpoint it's unfortunate that most of the online resources on this subject seem to be unnecessarily complicated, and, well, mathematical... I just want some generally understood words to describe a fairly obvious distinction in nature, I don't see why it has to involve massive equations...
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