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Can I visualize three variable functions through scalar and vector fields?

  1. Jan 28, 2010 #1
    Graphics of one variable functions are two dimensional lines. Graphics of two variable functions are three dimensional surfaces. Three variable functions cannot be plotted.

    But can I think of the usual 3D representations of vector and scalar fields as manners of visualizing a three variable function?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2010 #2
    In fact, a scalar field IS a scalar function and likewise a vector field IS a vector function, so a representation of a 3D scalar field is in fact a representation of a 3 variable scalar function.

    Any 3D representations of a 3D scalar or vector field on a 2D plane like your computer screen or a sheet of paper cannot be a continuous plot however, only some finite amount of points will be represented like the one in here:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Vector_Field.gif

    In the image above, the magnitude of each vector is represented by adding a colour dimension to the 3 spatial dimensions
     
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