Concept

# Parametrization (geometry)

Résumé
In mathematics, and more specifically in geometry, parametrization (or parameterization; also parameterisation, parametrisation) is the process of finding parametric equations of a curve, a surface, or, more generally, a manifold or a variety, defined by an implicit equation. The inverse process is called implicitization. "To parameterize" by itself means "to express in terms of parameters". Parametrization is a mathematical process consisting of expressing the state of a system, process or model as a function of some independent quantities called parameters. The state of the system is generally determined by a finite set of coordinates, and the parametrization thus consists of one function of several real variables for each coordinate. The number of parameters is the number of degrees of freedom of the system. For example, the position of a point that moves on a curve in three-dimensional space is determined by the time needed to reach the point when starting from a fixed origin. If x, y, z are the coordinates of the point, the movement is thus described by a parametric equation where t is the parameter and denotes the time. Such a parametric equation completely determines the curve, without the need of any interpretation of t as time, and is thus called a parametric equation of the curve (this is sometimes abbreviated by saying that one has a parametric curve). One similarly gets the parametric equation of a surface by considering functions of two parameters t and u. Parametrizations are not generally unique. The ordinary three-dimensional object can be parametrized (or "coordinatized") equally efficiently with Cartesian coordinates (x, y, z), cylindrical polar coordinates (ρ, φ, z), spherical coordinates (r, φ, θ) or other coordinate systems. Similarly, the color space of human trichromatic color vision can be parametrized in terms of the three colors red, green and blue, RGB, or with cyan, magenta, yellow and black, CMYK.
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