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Parametric Surfaces and Surfaces of Revolution

Math 55 - Elementray Analysis III


Institute of Mathematics
University of the Philippines
Diliman

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Recall
A curve in R3 is given by a vector function
R(t) = f (t) + g(t)
+ h(t)k

or a set of parametric equations


x = f (t),

y = g(t),

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z = h(t).

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Parametric Surfaces
A surface in R3 can be described by a vector function of two
parameters R(u, v). Suppose that
R(u, v) = x(u, v) + y(u, v)
+ z(u, v)k
is a vector function defined on a parameter domain D (in the
uv-plane). Any particular choice of (u, v) D gives a point
(x, y, z) such that
x = x(u, v)

y = y(u, v)

z = z(u, v).

The set of all such points as (u, v) varies over D is called a


parametric surface.
The parametric surface is
traced out by the tip of the
moving vector R(u, v) as (u, v)
varies over D.

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Parametric Surfaces
Example
Identify the surface given by R(u, v) = hu, cos v, sin vi.
Solution. The corresponding set of parametric equations are
x = u,

y = cos v,

z = sin v.

Note that for any point (x, y, z) on the surface,


y 2 + z 2 = cos2 v + sin2 v = 1
This means that for constant x, the cross sections parallel to
the x-axis are circles of radius 1.
Hence, the surface is a right
circular cylinder

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Grid Curves
Consider a surface S given by a vector function R(u, v).
If we hold u = u0 , constant, then
R(u0 , v) becomes a vector
function of a single parameter v
which traces a curve C1 on S.

If we hold v = v0 , constant, then


R(u, v0 ) becomes a vector
function of a single parameter u
which traces a curve C2 on S.

We call these curves the grid curves of S.


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Grid Curves
The grid curves of R(u, v) = hu, cos v sin vi:

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Parametric Surfaces
Example
Describe the parametric surface given by the parametric
equations x = u cos v, y = u sin v, z = 4 u2 . Identify grid
curves with constant u and grid curve with v = 0.
Solution. To eliminate the parameters u and v note that
x2 + y 2 = u2 cos2 v + u2 sin2 v = u2 ,
but z = 4 u2 u2 = 4 z. Hence,
x2 + y 2

u2 = 4 z

4 x2 y 2 , a paraboloid.

If u = u0 , a constant, then z = 4 u20 is constant and


x2 + y 2 = u20 . Thus, we have circles parallel to the
xy-plane.
If v = 0, the parametric equation becomes
x = u, y = 0, z = 4 u2
which gives the parabola z = 4 x2 on the xz-plane.
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Surfaces of Revolution
Let f (x) 0 for a x b and S be the surface obtained when
the curve y = f (x) is revolved about the x-axis. Let be the
angle of rotation as shown below:

If (x, y, z) is a point on S, then


x = x,

y = f (x) cos ,

z = f (x) sin

which is a parametric surface in the parameters x and .


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Surfaces of Revolution
If S is a surface obtained by revolving y = f (x) or z = f (x)
about the x-axis, then S has parametric equations
x = x,

y = f (x) cos ,

z = f (x) sin .

If S is a surface obtained by revolving x = f (y) or z = f (y)


about the y-axis, then S has parametric equations
x = f (y) cos ,

y = y,

z = f (y) sin .

If S is a surface obtained by revolving x = f (z) or y = f (z)


about the z-axis, then S has parametric equations
x = f (z) cos ,

y = f (z) sin ,

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z = z.

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Surfaces of Revolution
Example
Give a set of parametric equations for the surface obtained by
revolving y = ex about the
1 x-axis.
2 y-axis.
Solution.
1

The generating curve is


y = f (x) = ex .
Hence, the surface of
revolution is given by

x = x
y = ex cos

z = ex sin

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Note: y = ex x = ln y, so
the generating curve is
x = f (y) = ln y. Hence, the
surface of revolution is given
by

x = ln y cos
y= y

z = ln y sin

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Tangent Plane to Parametric Surfaces


Consider a surface S given by R(u, v) = hx(u, v), y(u, v), z(u, v)i
and a point P0 in S with position vector R(u0 , v0 ).
If C1 is the grid curve obtained by setting u = u0 , then the
tangent vector to C1 at P0 is
Rv (u0 , v0 ) = hxv (u0 , v0 ), yv (u0 , v0 ), zv (u0 , v0 )i .
Similarly, if C2 is the grid curve obtained by setting v = v0 ,
then the tangent vector to C2 at P0 is
Ru (u0 , v0 ) = hxu (u0 , v0 ), yu (u0 , v0 ), zu (u0 , v0 )i .

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Tangent Plane to Parametric Surfaces

If Ru Rv 6= 0, the surface S is called smooth.


For a smooth surface S, the tangent plane is the plane
containing the vectors Ru and Rv . Clearly, Ru Rv is normal
to the tangent plane.

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Tangent Plane to Parametric Surfaces


Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the surface given by
x = sin v,

y = v 1,

z = eu

at the point P0 (0, 1, 1).


Solution. First, note that P0 is generated when u = v = 0. Next,
we solve the partial derivatives:
Ru (u, v) = h0, 0, eu i

Ru (0, 0) = h0, 0, 1i

Rv (u, v) = hcos v, 1, 0i

Rv (0, 0) = h1, 1, 0i

The normal vector to the tangent plane at


h0, 0, 1i h1, 1, 0i = det 0 0
1 1

(0, 1, 1) is

k
1 = h1, 1, 0i
0

Hence, the equation of the tangent plae at (0, 1, 1) is


x + y + 1 = 0
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Exercises
1

Identify the surface given by the vector equation


R(u, v) = hu + v, 3 v, 1 + 4u + 5vi.

Find a set of parametric equations for the surface obtained by


revolving the circle x2 + y 2 = a2 about the y-axis.

Find the equation of the tangent plane to the given parametric


surface at the specified point.
a. x = u + v, y = 3u2 , z = u v; (2, 3, 0)
u = 1, v = 0
b. R(u, v) = u2 + 2u sin v
+ u cos v k;

Show that the parametric equations


x = a sin u cos v,

y = b sin u sin v,

z = c cos u,

where a, b and c are constants, represent an ellipsoid.


5

Find a set of parametric equations for the


torus, obtained by rotating the circle on the
xz-plane centered at (b, 0, 0) about the z-axis.
(Hint: Take the parameters and ,
as shown.)
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References

Stewart, J., Calculus, Early Transcendentals, 6 ed., Thomson


Brooks/Cole, 2008

Leithold, L., The Calculus 7, Harper Collins College Div., 1995

Dawkins, P., Calculus 3, online notes available at


http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/

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