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# Tangent Planes and Normal Lines

Lucky Galvez
Institute of Mathematics
University of the Philippines
Diliman

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Recall

## For f (x, y), the gradient of f is

f (x, y) = hfx (x, y), fy (x, y)i
and the directional derivative of f at (x0 , y0 ) in the direction
of the unit vector u = ha, bi is
f (x0 + ha, yo + hb) f (x0 , y0 )
h0
h
= fx (x0 , y0 )a + fy (x0 , y0 )b

Du f (x0 , y0 ) =

lim

= f (x0 , y0 ) u

Math 55

Tangent Planes

R
R
R

## For a function w = F (x, y, z), the surface F (x, y, z) = k, for

some constant k, is called a level surface of the given
function.
The equation of a plane with normal vector N = ha, b, ci,
containing the point P (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is (Point-Normal Form):
a(x x0 ) + b(y y0 ) + c(z z0 ) = 0
A set of equations for the line parallel to the vector
V = ha, b, ci, passing through P (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is
x x0
y y0
z z0
=
=
Symmetric:
a
b
c
Parametric: x = x0 + at, y = y0 + bt,

Math 55

Tangent Planes

z = z0 + ct

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P .

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i.

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k.

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
x dt
y dt
z dt

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
= 0
x dt
y dt
z dt
hFx , Fy , Fz i hx0 (t), y 0 (t), z 0 (t)i = 0

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
= 0
x dt
y dt
z dt
hFx , Fy , Fz i hx0 (t), y 0 (t), z 0 (t)i = 0
F (x, y, z)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
= 0
x dt
y dt
z dt
hFx , Fy , Fz i hx0 (t), y 0 (t), z 0 (t)i = 0
F (x, y, z) R0 (t) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
= 0
x dt
y dt
z dt
hFx , Fy , Fz i hx0 (t), y 0 (t), z 0 (t)i = 0
F (x, y, z) R0 (t) =
0

F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) R (t0 ) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

0
0

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
= 0
x dt
y dt
z dt
hFx , Fy , Fz i hx0 (t), y 0 (t), z 0 (t)i = 0
F (x, y, z) R0 (t) =
0

F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) R (t0 ) =

0
0

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Theorem
Let S be a level surface of F (x, y, z) containing the point
P (x0 , y0 , z0 ). The gradient vector F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal
to S at P .
Proof. Suppose S has the equation F (x, y, z) = k and C is a curve
on S passing through P . Let C be given by the vector function
R(t) = hx(t), y(t), z(t)i, such that R(t0 ) = hx(t0 ), y(t0 ), z(t0 )i. Then
F (x(t), y(t), z(t)) = k. By Chain Rule,
F dx F dy F dz
+
+
= 0
x dt
y dt
z dt
hFx , Fy , Fz i hx0 (t), y 0 (t), z 0 (t)i = 0
F (x, y, z) R0 (t) =
0

F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) R (t0 ) =

0
0

## Since R0 (t) is tangent to C at P , F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal to C.

Because C is arbitrary, F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal to S at P .

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

If F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) 6= 0, then it is
orthogonal to the tangent
plane to S at P ,

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

If F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) 6= 0, then it is
orthogonal to the tangent
plane to S at P ,

## i.e., F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) = hFx (x0 , y0 , z0 ), Fy (x0 , y0 , z0 ), Fz (x0 , y0 , z0 )i

is the normal vector to the tangent plane to F (x, y, z) = k at
the point P (x0 , y0 , z0 ).

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

If F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) 6= 0, then it is
orthogonal to the tangent
plane to S at P ,

## i.e., F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) = hFx (x0 , y0 , z0 ), Fy (x0 , y0 , z0 ), Fz (x0 , y0 , z0 )i

is the normal vector to the tangent plane to F (x, y, z) = k at
the point P (x0 , y0 , z0 ).
By the Point-Normal Form, the equation of the tangent plane
to the surface F (x, y, z) = k at P (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is
Fx (x0 , y0 , z0 )(x x0 ) + Fy (x0 , y0 , z0 )(y y0 ) + Fz (x0 , y0 , z0 )(z z0 ) = 0
Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 6z

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 6z Fz (1, 1, 1) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 6z Fz (1, 1, 1) = 6

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 6z Fz (1, 1, 1) = 6
So the equation of the tangent plane is
2(x 1) 4(y + 1) + 6(z 1) = 0

Math 55

Tangent Planes

## Tangent Planes to Level Surfaces

Example
Find the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 = 6
at the point (1, 1, 1).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 + 3z 2 (k = 6) and
therefore we have
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (1, 1, 1) = 2
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (1, 1, 1) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 6z Fz (1, 1, 1) = 6
So the equation of the tangent plane is
2(x 1) 4(y + 1) + 6(z 1) = 0
2x 4y + 6z 12 = 0
Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z.

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

Fy (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

## Fy (x, y, z) = fy (x, y),

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

## Fy (x, y, z) = fy (x, y),

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Fz (x, y, z) =

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

## Fy (x, y, z) = fy (x, y),

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Fz (x, y, z) = 1

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

Fz (x, y, z) = 1

## Hence the equation of the tangent plane at (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is

fx (x0 , y0 )(x x0 ) + fy (x0 , y0 )(y y0 ) (z z0 ) = 0

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

Fz (x, y, z) = 1

## Hence the equation of the tangent plane at (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is

fx (x0 , y0 )(x x0 ) + fy (x0 , y0 )(y y0 ) (z z0 ) = 0
fx (x0 , y0 )(x x0 ) + fy (x0 , y0 )(y y0 ) + z0 = z

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Tangent Planes
If the equation of the surface can be written in the form
z = f (x, y), then f (x, y) z = 0.
Let F (x, y, z) = f (x, y) z. Therefore,
Fx (x, y, z) = fx (x, y),

Fz (x, y, z) = 1

## Hence the equation of the tangent plane at (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is

fx (x0 , y0 )(x x0 ) + fy (x0 , y0 )(y y0 ) (z z0 ) = 0
fx (x0 , y0 )(x x0 ) + fy (x0 , y0 )(y y0 ) + z0 = z
fx (x0 , y0 )(x x0 ) + fy (x0 , y0 )(y y0 ) + f (x0 , y0 ) = z

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines

Definition
The normal line to a surface S at a point P is the line passing
through P perpendicular to the tangent plane to S at P .

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines

Definition
The normal line to a surface S at a point P is the line passing
through P perpendicular to the tangent plane to S at P .
The direction of the normal line is therefore given by a normal
vector of the tangent plane

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines

Definition
The normal line to a surface S at a point P is the line passing
through P perpendicular to the tangent plane to S at P .
The direction of the normal line is therefore given by a normal
vector of the tangent plane i.e., the gradient vector
F (x0 , y0 , z0 ).

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines

Definition
The normal line to a surface S at a point P is the line passing
through P perpendicular to the tangent plane to S at P .
The direction of the normal line is therefore given by a normal
vector of the tangent plane i.e., the gradient vector
F (x0 , y0 , z0 ).
So a set of symmetric equations for the normal line is
x x0
y y0
z z0
=
=
Fx (x0 , y0 , z0 )
Fy (x0 , y0 , z0 )
Fz (x0 , y0 , z0 )

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (2, 1, 6) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (2, 1, 6) = 4

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) =

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 1

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 1 Fz (2, 1, 6) = 1

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Normal Lines
Example
Find symmetric equations for the normal line to the surface
z = x2 + 2y 2
at the point (2, 1, 6).
Solution. Let F (x, y, z) = x2 + 2y 2 z (k = 0).
Fx (x, y, z) = 2x Fx (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fy (x, y, z) = 4y Fy (2, 1, 6) = 4
Fz (x, y, z) = 1 Fz (2, 1, 6) = 1
Hence the symmeteric equations for the normal line is
x+2
y1
z6
=
=
4
4
1
Math 55

Tangent Planes

## What we know about the gradient vector so far:

F gives the direction of the fastest increase of F

Math 55

Tangent Planes

R
R

## What we know about the gradient vector so far:

F gives the direction of the fastest increase of F
F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal to a level surface of F through
P (x0 , y0 , z0 )

Math 55

Tangent Planes

R
R

## What we know about the gradient vector so far:

F gives the direction of the fastest increase of F
F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal to a level surface of F through
P (x0 , y0 , z0 )

## On a level surface S, moving away from P in the perpendicular

direction, we get the maximum change in F .

Math 55

Tangent Planes

R
R

## What we know about the gradient vector so far:

F gives the direction of the fastest increase of F
F (x0 , y0 , z0 ) is orthogonal to a level surface of F through
P (x0 , y0 , z0 )

## On a level surface S, moving away from P in the perpendicular

direction, we get the maximum change in F .
If f is a function of x and y and P (x0 , y0 ) is in the domain of f ,
it can be shown that f (x0 , y0 ) is perpendicular to the level
curve f (x, y) = k containing P .

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)
c. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)
c. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)
Find symmetric and parametric equations for the normal line to
the following surfaces at the given point.
a. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)
c. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)
Find symmetric and parametric equations for the normal line to
the following surfaces at the given point.
a. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)
c. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)
Find symmetric and parametric equations for the normal line to
the following surfaces at the given point.
a. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)

## At what point on the graph of y = x2 + z 2 is the tangent plane

parallel to x + 2y + 3z = 1?

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)
c. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)
Find symmetric and parametric equations for the normal line to
the following surfaces at the given point.
a. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)

## At what point on the graph of y = x2 + z 2 is the tangent plane

parallel to x + 2y + 3z = 1?
Find parametric equations for the tangent line to the curve of
intersection of the paraboloid z = x2 + y 2 and the ellipsoid
4x2 + y 2 + z 2 = 9 at (1, 1, 2)

Math 55

Tangent Planes

Exercises
1

## Find the equation of the tangent plane to the following surfaces

at the given point.
a. f (x, y) = ln(x 2y); (3, 1)
b. x2 2y 2 + z = 2xy; (1, 2, 3)
c. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)
Find symmetric and parametric equations for the normal line to
the following surfaces at the given point.
a. z + 1 = xey cos z; (1, 0, 0)

## At what point on the graph of y = x2 + z 2 is the tangent plane

parallel to x + 2y + 3z = 1?
Find parametric equations for the tangent line to the curve of
intersection of the paraboloid z = x2 + y 2 and the ellipsoid
4x2 + y 2 + z 2 = 9 at (1, 1, 2)
Show that the equation of the tangent plane to the ellipsoid
x2
y2
z2
+
+
= 1 at (x0 , y0 , z0 ) can be written as
a2
b2
c2
yy0
zz0
xx0
+ 2 + 2 = 1.
a2
b
c
Math 55

Tangent Planes

References

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

Brooks/Cole, 2008

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

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

Math 55

Tangent Planes