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I have the following code:

g[u_,p_] = Graphics{
                    Circle[{2 Sqrt[u], u}, u],
                    Circle[{-2 Sqrt[u], u}, u],
                    Point[{2 Sqrt[u], u}], 
                    Point[{-2 Sqrt[u], u}],
                    Inset[p,{0,1},{0,0},{15,10}]
                   }

and I want to draw the parabola that goes through the centers of both of these circles, for every $u \neq 0$ with its value in $0$ equal to $1$. We can see that, if we let $y$ to be the needed curve, that $y(2\sqrt{u}) = u, \forall u \neq 0$ and $y(0) = 1$. By making $u:= u^2$, we see that $y(2u) = u^2$, so by making again $u := u/2$ we see that $y(u) = u^2/4,$ and we also need to subtract one because we map $(0,1)$ to $(0,0)$.

However, if I try to plot this by saying

f[u_] = g[u, Plot[u^2/4 - 1,{u,-100,100}]

I don't really get what I want. I suspect this is because of the resizing done by Graphics and Plot. I have tried using PlotRange and PlotRangeClipping, but nothing works.

Is there any way I can do this or do I need another method to draw this curve? As a matter of fact, can it be done without Inset?

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A couple of changes:

  • do not use Inset to combine the two plots; use Show instead, which will plot both on the same coordinate system;
  • I think that there may have been a small error in your calculation; it seems to work if I plot $u^2/4$ instead of $u^2/4-1$;
  • finally, a practical consideration: you will want to reduce the range over which you plot your parabola, or your circles become too small (here I used $-5,5$).

With those changes:

ClearAll[g]
g[u_] := Graphics@{
    Circle[{2 Sqrt[u], u}, u],
    Circle[{-2 Sqrt[u], u}, u],
    Point[{2 Sqrt[u], u}],
    Point[{-2 Sqrt[u], u}]
  };

Show[
  Plot[u^2/4, {u, -5, 5}],
  g[0.7]
]

Mathematica graphics


... and just for fun:

ClearAll[gcombo]
gcombo[u_] := Show[
  Plot[x^2/4, {x, -5, 5}],
  Graphics@
    Through[{Point, Map[Circle[#, u] &]}[{# Sqrt[u], u} & /@ {2, -2}]]
 ]

Animate[
  gcombo[u],
  {u, 0, 2},
  AnimationDirection -> ForwardBackward,
  AnimationRunning -> False
]

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much! $\endgroup$ – hit Mar 29 at 19:12

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