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While learning about Lagrange multipliers, I am finding examples on how a constraint is applied to a function.

Given the following two functions (where E^ is ::e::):

f[x_, y_] := E^(-(3 x^2 + 2 y^2 - x y)/(3))
g[x_, y_] := x^2 + 2*(y + 1/2)^2 - 1

And the following constraint:

g[x,y]==0

I would like to get a plot of the path of the constraint g[x,y] over the function f[x,y].

I have tried to plot the function f[x,y] with:

f3d = Plot3D[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}]

Which results in:

Function f

And I would like to see the path of the constrain g[x,y]==0 over that surface. Similar to this example:

ContourPlot3D[{x^2 + y^2 + z^2 - 4, (x - 1)^2 + y^2 - 7/8}, {x, -2, 
  2}, {y, -2, 2}, {z, -2, 2}, ContourStyle -> {Automatic, Opacity[0]},
  Mesh -> None, 
 BoundaryStyle -> {2 -> None, {1, 2} -> {Green, Thick, Dashed}}]

Example

But I can not get that plot. I have tried this but I am missing the condition g[x,y]==0 which I do not know how to add:

ContourPlot3D[f[x, y] == g[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, {z, -2, 2}]

Try

In 2D is easier as you can draw both contour plots and then combine, but in 3D I do not know how to do it.

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2 Answers 2

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Try MeshFunction

Plot3D[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, MeshFunctions -> Function[{x, y}, g[x, y]], Mesh -> {{0}}]

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Or to retain original mesh, Plot3D[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, MeshFunctions -> {#1 &, #2 &, Function[{x, y}, g[x, y]]}, Mesh -> {15, 15, {0}}, MeshStyle -> {Automatic, Automatic, Directive[Red, Thick]}] $\endgroup$
    – Bob Hanlon
    Sep 15, 2022 at 17:47
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  • Or use RegionFunction and only display it's boundary.
Plot3D[f[x, y], {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, 
 RegionFunction -> Function[{x, y}, g[x, y] <= 0], 
 BoundaryStyle -> Red, PlotStyle -> None, Mesh -> None]

enter image description here

  • Or still use ContourPlot3D.
ContourPlot3D[{z - f[x, y] == 0, g[x, y] == 0}, {x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 
  2}, {z, -2, 2}, Mesh -> None, ContourStyle -> {Automatic, None}, 
 BoundaryStyle -> {2 -> None, {1, 2} -> {Green, Thick, Dashed}}]

enter image description here

  • ImplicitRegion also work.
reg = ImplicitRegion[{z == f[x, y], 
    g[x, y] == 0}, {{x, -2, 2}, {y, -2, 2}, {z, -2, 2}}];
Region[Style[reg, Directive[Thick, Red]], Axes -> True]

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks that helps to understand well how plots work. $\endgroup$
    – M.E.
    Sep 15, 2022 at 13:33

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