The ebook Elementary Calculus is based on material originally written by H.J. Keisler. For more information please read the copyright pages.

Parametric Equations

If a particle is moving in the plane, its position (x, y) at time t will be given by a pair of equations

x = f(t), y = g(t).

These are called parametric equations. The slope of the curve traced out by this particle can be found by the Chain Rule,


whenever the derivatives exist and f'(t) ≠ 0. This is a Chain Rule application of type (2).

Last Update: 2006-11-05