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Homework Help: Tangent plane confusion

  1. Feb 19, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What's the difference between the two equations for a plane?

    This question is somewhat related to my other, overarching question here: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/i-am-confused-about-how-multivariable-calc-works.798798/

    2. Relevant equations
    ## a(x - x_0) + b(y - y_0) + c(z - z_0) = 0 ##
    ## z - z_0 = f_x (x_0, y_0)(x-x_0) + f_y (x_0, y_0)(y-y_0) ##

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm not sure what the relationship between these two equations are. Thanks everyone.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2015 #2


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    There's no deep difference. The first is the general form of a plane with ##(a,b,c)## as a normal vector. The second is a specific example of a plane corresponding to a tangent surface with normal vector ##(f_x,f_y,-1)##.
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