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Parametricequation
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Inmathematics,parametricequationsdefinea
groupofquantitiesasfunctionsofoneormore
independentvariablescalledparameters.[1]
Parametricequationsarecommonlyusedtoexpress
thecoordinatesofthepointsthatmakeupa
geometricobjectsuchasacurveorsurface,inwhich
casetheequationsarecollectivelycalleda
parametricrepresentationorparameterizationof
theobject.[2][3]Forexample,theequations

formaparametricrepresentationoftheunitcircle,
wheretistheparameter.
Thebutterflycurvecanbedefinedbyparametric
equationscandescribemanifoldsandalgebraic
equationsofxandy.
varietiesofhigherdimension,withthenumberof
parametersbeingequaltothedimensionofthe
manifoldorvariety,andthenumberofequationsbeingequaltothedimensionofthespaceinwhichthe
manifoldorvarietyisconsidered(forcurvesthedimensionisoneandoneparameterisused,for
surfacesdimensiontwoandtwoparameters,etc.).
Parametricequationsarecommonlyusedinkinematics,wherethetrajectoryofanobjectisrepresented
byequationsdependingontimeastheparameter.Becauseofthisapplication,asingleparameterisoften
labeledthowever,parameterscanrepresentotherphysicalquantities(suchasgeometricvariables)or
canbeselectedarbitrarilyforconvenience.Parameterizationsarenonuniquemorethanonesetof
parametricequationscanspecifythesamecurve.[4]

Contents
1 Applications
1.1 Kinematics
1.2 Computeraideddesign
1.3 Integergeometry
2 Implicitization
3 Examplesintwodimensions
3.1 Parabola
3.2 Explicitequations
3.3 Circle
3.4 Ellipse
3.5 LissajousCurve
3.6 Hyperbola
3.7 Hypotrochoid
3.8 Somesophisticatedfunctions
4 Examplesinthreedimensions
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4 Examplesinthreedimensions
4.1 Helix
4.2 Parametricsurfaces
5 Seealso
6 Notes

Applications
Kinematics
Inkinematics,objects'pathsthroughspacearecommonlydescribedasparametriccurves,witheach
spatialcoordinatedependingexplicitlyonanindependentparameter(usuallytime).Usedinthisway,the
setofparametricequationsfortheobject'scoordinatescollectivelyconstituteavectorvaluedfunction
forposition.Suchparametriccurvescanthenbeintegratedanddifferentiatedtermwise.Thus,ifa
particle'spositionisdescribedparametricallyas

thenitsvelocitycanbefoundas

anditsaccelerationas
.

Computeraideddesign
example,considerthefollowingthreerepresentations,allofwhicharecommonlyusedtodescribe
planarcurves.
Type

Form

Example

Description

1.Explicit

Line

2.Implicit

Circle

3.Parametric

Line

Circle

Thefirsttwotypesareknownasanalyticalornonparametricrepresentationsofcurves,and,ingeneral
choiceofacoordinatesystemanddoesnotlenditselfwelltogeometrictransformations,suchas
form.[6]
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Integergeometry
Numerousproblemsinintegergeometrycanbesolvedusingparametricequations.Themostwidely
knownsuchsolutionisEuclid'ssolutioninintegersforthelegsa,bandthehypotenusecofaprimitive
righttriangle:

whichisparametriconthecoprimeintegersmandnofoppositeparity.

Implicitization
Convertingasetofparametricequationstoasingleequationinvolveseliminatingthevariable fromthe
simultaneousequations
Thisprocessiscalledimplicitization.Ifoneofthese
equationscanbesolvedfort,theexpressionobtainedcanbesubstitutedintotheotherequationtoobtain
anequationinvolvingxandyonly.
Iftheparametrizationisgivenbyrationalfunctions

wherep,q,raresetwisecoprimepolynomials,aresultantcomputationallowstoimplicitize.More
precisely,theimplicitequationistheresultantwithrespecttotofxr(t)p(t)andyr(t)q(t)
Inhigherdimension(eithermorethantwocoordinatesofmorethanoneparameter),theimplicitization
ofrationalparametricequationsmaybydonewithGrbnerbasiscomputationseeGrbnerbasis
Implicitizationinhigherdimension.
Insomecasesthereisnosingleequationinclosedformthatisequivalenttotheparametricequations.[7]

canbesimplyexpressedintermsofxandybywayofthePythagoreantrigonometricidentity:

whichiseasilyidentifiableasatypeofconicsection(inthiscase,acircle).

Examplesintwodimensions
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Parabola
Thesimplestequationforaparabola,

canbe(trivially)parameterizedbyusingafreeparametert,andsetting

Explicitequations
Moregenerally,anycurvegivenbyanexplicitequation

canbe(trivially)parameterizedbyusingafreeparametert,andsetting

Circle
Amoresophisticatedexampleisthefollowing.Considertheunitcirclewhichisdescribedbythe
ordinary(Cartesian)equation

Thisequationcanbeparameterizedasfollows:

WiththeCartesianequationitiseasiertocheckwhetherapointliesonthecircleornot.Withthe
parametricversionitiseasiertoobtainpointsonaplot.
Insomecontexts,parametricequationsinvolvingonlyrationalfunctions(thatisfractionsoftwo
polynomials)arepreferred,iftheyexist.Inthecaseofthecircle,sucharationalparameterizationis

Withthisparametricequation,thepoint(1,0)isnotrepresentedbyarealvalueoft,butbythelimitof
xandywhenttendstoinfinity.

Ellipse
Anellipseincanonicalposition(centeratorigin,majoraxisalongtheXaxis)withsemiaxesaandb
canberepresentedparametricallyas

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Anellipseingeneralpositioncanbeexpressedas

astheparametertvariesfrom0to2.Here
isthecenteroftheellipse,and istheangle
betweenthe axisandthemajoraxisoftheellipse.

LissajousCurve
ALissajouscurveissimilartoanellipse,butthexandy
sinusoidsarenotinphase.Incanonicalposition,aLissajous
curveisgivenby

where and
thefigure.

areconstantsdescribingthenumberoflobesof

Hyperbola
Aneastwestopeninghyperbolacanberepresented
parametricallyby

ALissajouscurvewhere
.

and

or,rationally

Anorthsouthopeninghyperbolacanberepresentedparametricallyas

Inallformulae(h,k)arethecentercoordinatesofthehyperbola,aisthelengthofthesemimajoraxis,
andbisthelengthofthesemiminoraxis.

Hypotrochoid

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Ahypotrochoidfor
whichr=d

Ahypotrochoidfor
whichR=5,r=3,d=
5

Theparametricequationsforthehypotrochoidsare:

Somesophisticatedfunctions
Otherexamplesareshown:

Severalgraphsbyvariationof
k

j=3k=3

j=3k=3

j=3k=4
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j=3k=4

j=3k=4
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i=1j=2

Examplesinthreedimensions
Helix
Parametricequationsareconvenientfordescribing
curvesinhigherdimensionalspaces.Forexample:

describesathreedimensionalcurve,thehelix,with
thattheequationsareidenticalintheplanetothose
foracircle.Suchexpressionsastheoneaboveare
commonlywrittenas
Parametrichelix

whererisathreedimensionalvector.

Parametricsurfaces

wherethetwoparameterstandubothvarybetween0and2.

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R=2,r=1/2

thetorus.

Seealso
Curve
Parametricestimating
Positionvector
Vectorvaluedfunction
Parametrizationbyarclength
Parametricderivative

Notes
1.Weisstein,EricW."ParametricEquations".MathWorld.
p.91.
3.Weisstein,EricW."Parameterization".MathWorld.
4.Spitzbart,Abraham(1975).CalculuswithAnalyticGeometry.Gleview,IL:Scott,ForesmanandCompany.
ISBN0673079074.RetrievedAugust30,2015.
5.Stewart,James(2003).Calculus(5thed.).Belmont,CA:ThomsonLearning,Inc.pp.687689.ISBN0534
39339X.
applications.NewYork,NY:JohnWiley&Sons,Inc.pp.2931.ISBN0471002143.
7.See"EquationformandParametricformconversion"(http://xahlee.org/SpecialPlaneCurves_dir/CoordinateSy
stem_dir/coordinateSystem.html)formoreinformationonconvertingfromaseriesofparametricequationsto
singlefunction.

GraphingSoftware(https://www.dmoz.org/Science/Math/Software/Graphing/)atDMOZ
Webapplicationtodrawparametriccurvesontheplane(http://danher6.100webspace.net/curvas/)
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Parametric_equation&oldid=720101875"
Categories: Multivariablecalculus Equations

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