Squeezed helical elastica
We theoretically study the conformations of a helical semi-flexible filament confined to a flat surface. This squeezed helix exhibits a variety of unexpected shapes resembling circles, waves or spirals depending on the material parameters. We explore the conformation space in detail and show that the shapes can be understood as the mutual elastic interaction of conformational quasi-particles. Our theoretical results are potentially useful to determine the material parameters of such helical filaments in an experimental setting.