Contour Plots and Partial Derivatives
- Charles Rocca
This is an example to help you explore partial derivatives using contour plots. Note that as you use the sliders to move the vectors, if a vector starts to cross more contour lines (the lines get closer together) then the slope is getting steeper; if the vector crosses fewer lines (the lines are further apart) then the slope is becoming more shallow.
- Steeper plus positive slope means concave up.
- Steeper and negative slope means concave down.
- Shallower plus positive slope means concave down.
- Shallower and negative slope means concave up.