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# 13.3: Visualizing Two-Dimensional Scalar and Vector Field

[ "article:topic", "Vector Fields", "authorname:hsayama", "scalar field" ]

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Plotting scalar and vector ﬁelds in Python is straightforward, as long as the space is two-dimensional.  Here is an example of how to plot a 3-D surface plot:

The scalar ﬁeld $$f(x,y) = \sin{\sqrt{x^2 + y^2}}$$ is given on the right hand side of the zvalues part. The result is shown in Fig. 13.3.1.

Figure $$\PageIndex{1}$$:  Scalar ﬁeld visualized as a 3-D surface using Code 13.1.

And here is how to draw a contour plot of the same scalar ﬁeld:

The clabel command is used here to add labels to the contours. The result is shown in Fig. 13.3.2.

Figure $$\PageIndex{2}$$: Scalar ﬁeld visualized as a contour plot using Code 13.2

If you want more color, you can use imshow, which we already used for CA:

The result is shown in Fig. 13.3.3. Colorful!

Figure $$\PageIndex{3}$$: Scalar ﬁeld visualized as a color image using Code 13.3.

Finally, a two-dimensional vector ﬁeld can be visualized using the streamplot function that we used in Section 7.2. Here is an example of the visualization of a vector ﬁeld v = (vx,vy) = (2x,y−x), with the result shown in Fig. 13.3.4:

Figure $$\PageIndex{4}$$: Vector ﬁeld visualized using Code 13.4.

Exercise  $$\PageIndex{1}$$:

Plot the scalar ﬁeld $$f(x,y) = \sin{(xy)}$$ for $$−4 ≤ x,y ≤ 4$$ using Python.

Exercise  $$\PageIndex{2}$$:

Plot the gradient ﬁeld of f$$(x,y) = \sin{(xy)}$$ for $$−4 ≤ x,y ≤ 4$$ using Python.

Exercise  $$\PageIndex{3}$$:

Plot the Laplacian of $$f(x,y) = \sin{(xy)}$$ for $$−4 ≤ x,y ≤ 4$$ using Python. Compare the result with the outputs of the exercises above.