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The dynamics of inertial elastic helical thin rods with non-circular cross sections and arbitrary intrinsic curvature, torsion, and twist is studied. The classical Kirchhoff equations are used together with a perturbation scheme at the level of the director basis and the dispersion relation for helical strips is derived and analyzed. It is shown that all naturally straight helical strips are unstable whereas freestanding helices are always stable. There exists a one-parameter family ofdoi:10.1103/physreve.61.4508 pmid:11088250 fatcat:wdlin2vxnnfa7ou767jjps2fhy