Course: Calculus III
Topic: Vectors and Geometry of Space
Subtopic: Lines and Curves


The wonders of three dimensional objects! Expanding lines and curves from 2D to 3D, describing and analyzing curves in 3D, studying special 3D curves such as the helix. Merging vectors, functions, and parametric equations into vector-valued function used to track points in space as they spin out curves. These are among the visually exciting things we get to explore.


By the end of this topic you should know and be prepared to be tested on:


Terms you should be able to define: orientation of a curve

Formulae to have in your notes: equation of a line (vector, parametric, and symmetric forms):

Equation of a Line in 3D
through point `P_o (x_o,y_o,z_o)` parallel to vector `vecv=<<a,b,c>>`

Vector form

`vecr=vec(r_o)+t vecv`


Parametric form

`x=x_o +at`
`y=y_o +bt`
`z=z_o +ct`

Symmetric form


Supplemental Resources (recommended)

Download: Briggs Calc for STEM's Multivariable Study Card If you print this it is only page 1 and half of page 2 that is used in this course. Most of the rest is used in Calc IV.

Supplemental Resources (optional)

Paul's OL Notes - Calc III: Equations of Lines

Patrick JMT Just Math Tutorials: Finding the Vector Equation of a Line

More tutorial videos if you need them are listed at James Sousa's MathIsPower4U - Calc II. Scroll down right column to "Vectors in Space". Starting about half-way through that list has some related titles. In particular Parametric Equations of Lines in 3D.