Math Insight

Applet: Level curves of a hyperbolic paraboloid

Applet: Level curves of a hyperbolic paraboloid

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When the green point on the slider is to the left, as it is in the default view, the figure shows a standard level curve plot of $f(x,y)=x^2-y^2$, though it is floating in a three dimensional space. When you drag the green point to the right, each level curve $f(x,y)=c$ moves to the height $z=c$, so that they are in the same position as in the graph of $z=f(x,y)$. In this way, the figure demonstrates the correspondence between the level curve plot and the graph of the function.

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The applet was made using three.js and requires Javascript as well as a browser that supports WebGL. For most three.js applets, you can drag with the mouse to rotate the view, drag with the right button to pan, and zoom in/out with the mouse wheel. Many applets contain points that you can drag to change values of variables.