Limits Derivatives Integrals Infinite Series Parametrics Polar Coordinates Conics
Limits
Epsilon-Delta Definition
Finite Limits
One-Sided Limits
Infinite Limits
Trig Limits
Pinching Theorem
Indeterminate Forms
L'Hopitals Rule
Limits That Do Not Exist
Continuity & Discontinuities
Intermediate Value Theorem
Derivatives
Power Rule
Product Rule
Quotient Rule
Chain Rule
Trig and Inverse Trig
Implicit Differentiation
Exponentials & Logarithms
Logarithmic Differentiation
Hyperbolic Functions
Higher Order Derivatives
Differentials
Slope, Tangent, Normal...
Linear Motion
Mean Value Theorem
Graphing
1st Deriv, Critical Points
2nd Deriv, Inflection Points
Related Rates Basics
Related Rates Areas
Related Rates Distances
Related Rates Volumes
Optimization
Integrals
Definite Integrals
Integration by Substitution
Integration By Parts
Partial Fractions
Improper Integrals
Basic Trig Integration
Sine/Cosine Integration
Secant/Tangent Integration
Trig Integration Practice
Trig Substitution
Linear Motion
Area Under/Between Curves
Volume of Revolution
Arc Length
Surface Area
Work
Moments, Center of Mass
Exponential Growth/Decay
Laplace Transforms
Describing Plane Regions
Infinite Series
Divergence (nth-Term) Test
p-Series
Geometric Series
Alternating Series
Telescoping Series
Ratio Test
Limit Comparison Test
Direct Comparison Test
Integral Test
Root Test
Absolute Convergence
Conditional Convergence
Power Series
Taylor/Maclaurin Series
Interval of Convergence
Remainder & Error Bounds
Fourier Series
Study Techniques
Choosing A Test
Sequences
Infinite Series Table
Practice Problems
Exam Preparation
Exam List
Parametrics
Parametric Curves
Parametric Surfaces
Slope & Tangent Lines
Area
Arc Length
Surface Area
Volume
Polar Coordinates
Converting
Slope & Tangent Lines
Area
Arc Length
Surface Area
Conics
Parabolas
Ellipses
Hyperbolas
Conics in Polar Form
Vectors Vector Functions Partial Derivatives/Integrals Vector Fields Laplace Transforms Tools
Vectors
Unit Vectors
Dot Product
Cross Product
Lines In 3-Space
Planes In 3-Space
Lines & Planes Applications
Angle Between Vectors
Direction Cosines/Angles
Vector Projections
Work
Triple Scalar Product
Triple Vector Product
Vector Functions
Projectile Motion
Unit Tangent Vector
Principal Unit Normal Vector
Acceleration Vector
Arc Length
Arc Length Parameter
Curvature
Vector Functions Equations
MVC Practice Exam A1
Partial Derivatives
Directional Derivatives
Lagrange Multipliers
Tangent Plane
MVC Practice Exam A2
Partial Integrals
Describing Plane Regions
Double Integrals-Rectangular
Double Integrals-Applications
Double Integrals-Polar
Triple Integrals-Rectangular
Triple Integrals-Cylindrical
Triple Integrals-Spherical
MVC Practice Exam A3
Vector Fields
Curl
Divergence
Conservative Vector Fields
Potential Functions
Parametric Curves
Line Integrals
Green's Theorem
Parametric Surfaces
Surface Integrals
Stokes' Theorem
Divergence Theorem
MVC Practice Exam A4
Laplace Transforms
Unit Step Function
Unit Impulse Function
Square Wave
Shifting Theorems
Solve Initial Value Problems
Prepare For Calculus 1
Trig Formulas
Describing Plane Regions
Parametric Curves
Linear Algebra Review
Word Problems
Mathematical Logic
Calculus Notation
Simplifying
Practice Exams
More Math Help
Tutoring
Tools and Resources
Learning/Study Techniques
Math/Science Learning
Memorize To Learn
Music and Learning
Note-Taking
Motivation
Instructor or Coach?
Books
Math Books

You CAN Ace Calculus

17calculus > parametrics > parametric surfaces

### Calculus Main Topics

Single Variable Calculus

Multi-Variable Calculus

### Tools

math tools

general learning tools

Parametric Surfaces

Building parametric equations of surfaces can appear to be confusing. There is an art to it but the basic techniques to get started are fairly straightforward. When you first learned parametrics, you probably used t as your parametric variable. When describing surfaces with parametric equations, we need to use two variables. We will use u and v, which is common in vector calculus.

### Search 17Calculus

Techniques

Something to keep in mind when building parametric representations is that there are infinite ways to describe any surface.

1. If the description of the surface is in the form $$z=g(x,y)$$, the easiest parametric equations are
$$u=x$$, $$v=y$$ and $$z=g(u,v)$$. In vector form, $$\vec{r}(u,v)=u\hat{i}+v\hat{j}+g(u,v)\hat{k}$$.

2. A second basic technique is to describe your surface in cylindrical or spherical coordinates and then set u and v to the appropriate variable. For example, let's say we have a spherical shell of radius 3 that we want to describe in parametric form.
In general, conversion from rectangular to spherical coordinates, the equations are

rectangular → spherical coordinates

$$x=\rho \sin \phi \cos \theta$$

$$y=\rho \sin \phi \sin \theta$$

$$z=\rho \cos \phi$$

$$0 \leq \phi \leq \pi$$       $$0 \leq \theta \leq 2\pi$$

Since our example has a radius of 3, $$\rho = 3$$ in the above equations. We can set $$u=\phi$$ and $$v=\theta$$ giving us the parametric equations

a parametric description of a spherical shell of radius 3

$$x=3 \sin(u) \cos(v)$$

$$y=3 \sin(u) \sin(v)$$

$$z=3 \cos(u)$$

$$0 \leq u \leq \pi$$       $$0 \leq v \leq 2\pi$$

$$\vec{r}(u,v)=3\sin(u)\cos(v)\hat{i} + 3\sin(u)\sin(v)\hat{j} + 3\cos(u)\hat{k}$$

It is important to use the variables u and v for the parametric equations, not because u and v have any significance themselves but because they need to be completely different than the spherical coordinates variables. When you work with surface integrals, you will see why.

Okay, time for a video. Here is a gentle introduction to the idea of parameterizing curves in space.

 Dr Chris Tisdell - Parametrised surfaces

Here are a couple of video clips discussing how to set up parametric surfaces. He shows some nice special cases which give you more of a feel for how to set them up.

 Evans Lawrence - Lecture 31 - Parametric Surfaces, Surface Integrals [22min-10secs]
 Evans Lawrence - Lecture 32 - More on Parametric Surfaces, Surface Integrals [8min-36secs]

Now you are ready to learn how to set up and evaluate surface integrals. However, try your hand at some practice problems first, to make sure you really understand and are able to set up various types of parameterized surfaces.

Practice Problems

Instructions - - Unless otherwise instructed, parameterize these surfaces. Remember that there are multiple ways to parameterize a surface, so your answer may not be the same as given in the solution.

 Level A - Basic

Practice A01

Find a set of parametric equations for the surface of the cone $$z^2=x^2+y^2$$.

solution

Practice A02

Find a set of parametric equations for the surface of the cylinder $$x^2+y^2=r^2$$.

solution

Practice A03

Sphere of fixed radius r, $$x^2+y^2+z^2=r^2$$.

solution

Practice A04

Plane $$2x-4y+3z=16$$.

solution

 Level B - Intermediate

Practice B01

Find a parametric representation of the part of the sphere $$x^2+y^2+z^2=4$$ that lies above the cone $$z=\sqrt{x^2+y^2}$$.