# Computing the minimum distance in a contour plot

I have the following Mathematica code

Clear["Global*"];

V = -(M/Sqrt[b^2 + x^2 + λ*y^2 + (a + Sqrt[h^2 + z^2])^2]);
Vxx = D[V, {x, 2}];
Vyy = D[V, {y, 2}];
Vzz = D[V, {z, 2}];
ρ = 2.325/(4*π*100)*(Vxx + Vyy + Vzz);
ρyz = ρ /. {x -> 0};

M = 9500; a = 3; b = 4; h = 0.15; λ = 1.1;

Syz = ContourPlot[ρyz, {y, -50, 50}, {z, -50, 50}, Contours -> 20,
ContourStyle -> Black, PlotPoints -> 50,
RegionFunction -> Function[{y, z}, ρyz < 0],
PerformanceGoal :> "Speed", FrameLabel -> {"y", "z"},
RotateLabel -> False,
FrameStyle -> Directive[FontSize -> 17, FontFamily -> "Times"],
Epilog -> Inset[Graphics@Text[Row[{"b = ", b}],
BaseStyle -> {17, FontFamily -> "Helvetica", Bold}],
Scaled[{0.5, 0.95}]], ImageSize -> 550]


which produces this output

This plot shows the contours $\rho(y,z) < 0$. Now I would like to compute the minimum distance at which these contours approach the center (0,0). The distance is defined as $d = \sqrt{y^2 + z^2}$. Inspecting by eye the plot, we see that in this case the minimum distance is approximately $d_{min} \simeq 16$. But of course, this is not sufficient at all. So, my question is how could I compute the minimum distance? Then, I assume it would be easy enough to add a DO loop in order to see the evolution of the minimum distance when a parameter (i.e $b$ or $\lambda$) varies.

Many thanks in advance!

EDIT

Clear["Global*"];

V = -(M/Sqrt[b^2 + x^2 + λ*y^2 + (a + Sqrt[h^2 + z^2])^2]);
Vxx = D[V, {x, 2}];
Vyy = D[V, {y, 2}];
Vzz = D[V, {z, 2}];
ρ = 2.325/(4*π*100)*(Vxx + Vyy + Vzz);
ρyz = ρ /. {x -> 0};

M = 9500; a = 3; h = 0.15; λ = 1.1;

data = {};
Do[
sol = FindMinimum[{y^2 + z^2, ρyz == 0}, {y, z}];
dmin = sol[[1]];
AppendTo[data, {b, Sqrt[dmin]}],
{b, 0, 12, 1}


]

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## 2 Answers

Can use FindMinimum. As below, give the equality constraint that the point lies on the region boundary. Or could use constraint "on or inside" that is, <= instead of ==.

FindMinimum[{y^2 + z^2, \[Rho]yz == 0}, {y, z}]

(* Out[608]= {253.037069551, {y -> -15.728359276, z -> 2.37818923488}} *)

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Oh man, one minute too late. I used NMinimize and had to get rid of the NMinimize::incst :-( Of course +1. –  halirutan Apr 1 '13 at 16:45
See my EDIT. I added a DO loop bu the program complaints about tolerance! Why? –  Vaggelis_Z Apr 1 '13 at 16:55
And to think I almost posted this as a comment (sound of @halirutan gritting teeth).. –  Daniel Lichtblau Apr 1 '13 at 18:07
You shouldn't be scorning @halirutan. He could send you a copy of NKS in retaliation. –  belisarius Apr 2 '13 at 5:17

The solution was already given by Daniel. Just a caveat: Your plot isn't showing the whole truth:

RegionPlot[\[Rho]yz < 0, {y, -50, 50}, {z, -50, 50}, PlotPoints -> 100]


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You are right! I already know this; i just plotted the contours very quick using speed against quality. But again the minimum distance which I want is the same. Am I right? –  Vaggelis_Z Apr 1 '13 at 16:57
@Vaggelis_Z Yep, Daniel's answer is right AFAIK –  belisarius Apr 1 '13 at 17:04
What do you mean? –  Vaggelis_Z Apr 1 '13 at 17:06
@Vaggelis_Z I mean that the FindMinimum[] used by @DanielLichtbau takes care of this issue. –  belisarius Apr 1 '13 at 17:10
But when I run the Do loop I get this message: FindMinimum::eit: "The algorithm does not converge to the tolerance of 4.806217383937354`*^-6 in 500 iterations. The best estimated solution, with feasibility residual, KKT residual, or complementary residual of {0.00193054,11.0354,0}, is returned" –  Vaggelis_Z Apr 1 '13 at 17:12