Questions on conic sections and their properties; the curves formed by the intersection of a plane and a cone. Circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, and parabolas are examples of conic sections.

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35
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3answers
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Do “Parabolic Trigonometric Functions” exist?

The parametric equation $$\begin{align*} x(t) &= \cos t\\ y(t) &= \sin t \end{align*}$$ traces the unit circle centered at the origin ($x^2+y^2=1$). Similarly, $$\begin{align*} x(t) ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

Fascinating Lampshade Geometry

Today, I encountered a rather fascinating problem in a waiting room, which is embodied in the image below. Notice how the light is being cast on the wall? There is a curve that defines the ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Parabola is an ellipse, but with one focal point at infinity

While I was reading about conic sections, I came across the following statement: A parabola is an ellipse, but with one focal point at infinity. But it is not clear to me. Can someone explain it ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Intersection of two parabolae

Problem: Consider two parabolae such that their axes of symmetry form a right angle. Prove that all four points of intersection lie on a common circle (it is an assumption that there exist such four ...
18
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0answers
458 views

How many points of intersection between an ellipse and an $L_p$-circle?

Consider an ellipse $E$ in the plane, centered at the origin. (In my case, the minor axis points into the nonnegative quadrant.) Let S be an "$L_p$-circle": $S = \{(x,y) : |x|^p + |y|^p = 1\}$, ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

The locus of two perpendicular tangents to a given ellipse

For a given ellipse, find the locus of all points P for which the two tangents are perpendicular. I have a trigonometric proof that the locus is a circle, but I'd like a pure (synthetic) geometry ...
15
votes
4answers
299 views

A geometric reason why the square of the focal length of a hyperbola is equal to the sum of the squares of the axes.

This may be a phenomenally stupid question, so apologies in advance. But when I teach conics, I show why $c^2=a^2-b^2$ for ellipses geometrically, just by drawing the obvious isosceles triangle from ...
14
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8answers
10k views

What is the real life use of hyperbola? [closed]

The point of this question is to compile a list of applications of hyperbola because a lot of people are unknown to it and asks it frequently.
14
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4answers
399 views

Is $x^2-y^2=1$ Merely $\frac 1x$ Rotated -$45^\circ$?

Comparing their graphs and definitions of hyperbolic angles seems to suggest so aside from the $\sqrt{2}$ factor: and:
14
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4answers
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Aunt and Uncle's fuel oil tank dip stick problem

This problem first came to me in high school, and a couple times since, and I even assigned it for extra credit in one of my calculus classes after I became a teacher. So I know the solution. What I ...
13
votes
3answers
12k views

Check if a point is within an ellipse

I have an ellipse centered at $(h,k)$, with semi-major axis $r_x$, semi-minor axis $r_y$, both aligned with the Cartesian plane. How do I determine if a point $(x,y)$ is within the area bounded by ...
12
votes
2answers
741 views

What is the simplest ellipse that goes through exactly 13 lattice points?

The ellipse $-30 x + 3 x^2 - 10 y - 3 x y + 4 y^2$ goes through exactly 11 lattice points. Another such ellipse is $4 - 30 x + 2 x^2 - 5 y - x y + 3 y^2$. What is the simplest ellipse that goes ...
11
votes
1answer
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The Ellipse Problem - finding an ellipse inside a triangle

The problem statement is as follows: A triangle is dissected into six smaller triangles by its angle bisectors. Prove that the intersections of the angle bisectors of each of these smaller triangles ...
11
votes
2answers
477 views

2 circles and one ellipse and minimum area problem.

2 circles ($r_1 \neq r_2$) and one ellipse touch each other as shown in Figure-1. What is the minimum area (A) among them ? Please consider $a,b,r_1,r_2$ given values(constants). Let's imagine we ...
10
votes
2answers
110 views

Prove that $|PF_{1}|+|PF_{2}|$ is Constant in an Elipse

Given an elipse with two focus $F_{1}$ an $F_{2}$, and $A$ is an arbitrary point at the elipse. Stright line $AF_{1}$ has another intersection point $B$ with the elipse, and $AF_{2}$ has another ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

How to find an ellipse , given 2 passing points and the tangents at them?

Please answer to a question , how to find an ellipse which passes the 2 given points and has the given tangents at them. And one related question is that the given condition can decide just one ...
9
votes
2answers
283 views

Finding upper segments of intersecting parabolas

I have multiple parabolas ($y = ax^2 + bx + c$) which may intersect with each other (or some of them may not intersect). I am trying to find upper segments of these parabolas, e.g. bold part in the ...
9
votes
1answer
573 views

Generalization of ellipse equation to higher dimensional surfaces

This question was motivated by Definition of an ellipsoid based on its focal points . I'd like to avoid terms like ellipsoid, so I'll use terms like one-dimensional ellipse (a normal ellipse in the ...
9
votes
0answers
427 views

Definition of an ellipsoid based on its focal points

I have a question concerning the formulation of an (3D) ellipsoid. The most common definition for an ellipsoid seems to be: $E = \{ x=\left( x_1, \dots x_n \right)^T \in R^n: \sum_{i=1}^n \left( ...
8
votes
3answers
543 views

If two parabolas don't intersect, is there a line that doesn't intersect either of them?

Two parabolas in a plane are given, such that they don't intersect. Is it true that there is a line in plane such that doesn't intersect any of them?
8
votes
3answers
650 views

How to find the center of an ellipse?

I have the following data:- I have two points ($P_1$, $P_2$) that lie somewhere on the ellipse's circumference. I know the angle ($\alpha$) that the major-axis subtends on x-axis. I have both the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Minimal Ellipse Circumscribing A Right Triangle

Find the equation of the ellipse circumscribing a right triangle whose lengths of it's sides are $3,4,5$ and such that its area is the minimum possible one. You may chose the origin and orientation ...
8
votes
3answers
789 views

an important property of an ellipse

Good morning everybody. I would like to know the proof of the following observation on the ellipse. A circle is drawn with the right latus rectum as diameter. Another circle is drawn with its ...
8
votes
4answers
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What Does Homogenisation Of An Equation Actually Mean?

For example, if we have a conic; ax2 + 2hxy + by2 + 2gx + 2fy + c = 0 What does homogenising this equation with another line (say ax + by + c = 0 ) actually mean? As in, what are the graphical ...
8
votes
1answer
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Calculating Distance of a Point from an Ellipse Border

I'm thinking about using oriented ellipses to represent curves (dents/bumps etc.) in my physics engine, and have a few questions about working with them: What methods are there to finding the ...
8
votes
1answer
538 views

Comprehensive compilation of conic section formulae

My frustration started after hours of searching failed to turn up a formula for the vertex of a parabola in the general form $$Ax^2+Bxy+Cy^2+Dx+Ey+F=0$$ As is already well known, the discriminant ...
8
votes
1answer
374 views

Equal angles formed by the tangent lines to an ellipse and the lines through the foci.

Given an ellipse with foci $F_1, F_2$ and a point $P$. Let $T_1, T_2$ the points of tangency on the ellipse determined by the tangent lines through $P$. Show that $\widehat {T_1 P F_1} = \widehat {T_2 ...
7
votes
12answers
10k views

Derivation of the formula for the vertex of a Parabola

I'm taking a course on Basic Conic Sections, and one of the ones we are discussing is of a parabola of the form $y = a x^2 + b x + c$ My teacher gave me the formula: $x = -\frac{b}{2a}$ as the $x$ ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Calculating a Point that lies on an Ellipse given an Angle

I need to find a point (A on this diagram) given the center point of the ellipse as well as an angle. I've been melting my brain all day (as well as searching through questions here) testing out ...
7
votes
4answers
150 views

closest point to on $y=1/x$ to a given point

I feel like I'm missing something basic - given a point $(a,b)$ how do I find the closest point to it on the curve $y=1/x$? I tried the direct approach of pluggin in $y=1/x$ into the distance formula ...
7
votes
1answer
63 views

ellipse circumference

Here is a Wikipedia article about the circumference of an ellipse: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipse#Circumference I don't know how Ramanujan developed the following approximation for the ...
6
votes
4answers
783 views

Area of an ellipse

An ellipse has equation : $$ Ax^2 + Bxy + Cy^2 + Dx + Ey + F =0$$ Can you provide an optimum method to find it's area?
6
votes
2answers
613 views

Finding standard ellipse characteristics from specific ellipse parametrisation

I have found the following ellipse representation $(x,y)=(x_0\cos(\theta+d/2),y_0\cos(\theta-d/2))$, $\theta \in [0,2\pi]$. This is a contour of bivariate normal distribution with uneven variances and ...
6
votes
3answers
720 views

Parametric form of an ellipse given by $ax^2 + by^2 + cxy = d$

If $c = 0$, the parametric form is obviously $x = \sqrt{\frac{d}{a}} \cos(t), y = \sqrt{\frac{d}{b}} \sin(t)$. When $c \neq 0$ the sine and cosine should be phase shifted from each other. How do I ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there parabolic and elliptical functions analogous to the circular and hyperbolic functions sin(h),cos(h), and tan(h)?

In matters of conic sections, are there other properties such that it helps to group the circle and hyperbola in one, and the parabola and ellipse in the other?
6
votes
5answers
245 views

Parabolas through three points

We can draw an infinite number of parabolas that pass through three given points $A$, $B$, $C$ (in that order). For each such parabola, we take the tangent lines at $A$ and $C$, and intersect them to ...
6
votes
1answer
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Intersection of conics using matrix representation

I came across a very interesting section of a wikipedia article on conics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conic_section#Intersecting_two_conics I am trying to work out a couple of examples to add to ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Group of Points on an Ellipse

I did some tooling around to find an abelian group operation for the set of points on the ellipse $\left(\frac{x}{a}\right)^2+\left(\frac{y}{b}\right)^2=1$, given by ...
6
votes
5answers
492 views

Generating coordinates for 'N' points on the circumference of an ellipse with fixed nearest-neighbor spacing

I have an ellipse with semimajor axis $A$ and semiminor axis $B$. I would like to pick $N$ points along the circumference of the ellipse such that the Euclidean distance between any two ...
6
votes
0answers
83 views

What property does this equation calculate?

It's pretty difficult to Google for the meaning of a formula. This is the equation, it has to do with ellipses and GIS coordinates. $$\nu =\frac{ a} {\sqrt{(1 - (e^2 \cdot \sin(\varphi))^2)}}$$ $a$ ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How to partition area of an ellipse into odd number of regions?

Is it possible to divide an ellipse into 3,5 or 7 etc. parts of equal area? If yes then how? Describe a circle around the ellipse and the circle of an equilateral triangle we construct. Projection ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How to determine the arc length of ellipse?

I want to determine the arc length of a ellipse. So what data should I know ? And what law should I use ? For example I have this ellipse on picture below: How can I determine the $d$ length of ...
5
votes
1answer
351 views

What is the path equation that is created with the middle point of a fixed length line segment that touching both ends to an ellipse.

Ellipse equation is $(\frac{x}{a})^2+(\frac{y}{b})^2=1$ and the length of line segment is $2k$, if we move the line segment all around of the ellipse while touching both ends to the ellipse. What is ...
5
votes
2answers
161 views

Area under parabola using geometry

We have to find the area of the pink region. As we all know this can be evaluated using limiting its Riemann sum, of which its a standard example. However I want to know if this can be done without ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the equation of an ellipse that is not aligned with the axis?

I have the an ellipse with its semi-minor axis length $x$, and semi major axis $4x$. However, it is oriented $45$ degrees from the axis (but is still centred at the origin). I want to do some work ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Formula for curve parallel to a parabola

I have a simple parabola in the form $y = a + bx^2$. I would like to find the formula for a curve which is parallel to this curve by distance $c$. By parallel I mean that there is an equal distance ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

Doubling the cube with the help of a parabola

Looking into the intersection of abstract algebra and geometry, it's well known that it is impossible to double the cube with ruler and compass, since $\sqrt[3]{2}$ is not constructible. However, I ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any practical applications of the directrix of a parabola?

I know of many applications for the focus of a parabola (satellite dish, whispering gallery, etc.), but haven't been able to find any for the directrix. An internet search has come up empty. I have ...
5
votes
5answers
181 views

If $a,b \in \mathbb R$ satisfy $a^2+2ab+2b^2=7,$ then find the largest possible value of $|a-b|$

I came across the following problem that says: If $a,b \in \mathbb R$ satisfy $a^2+2ab+2b^2=7,$ then the largest possible value of $|a-b|$ is which of the following? $(1)\sqrt 7$, ...
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Anyone know a clear, useful online tutorial on dimensional analysis

We've just started this today in first year applied maths at university. Today we were given the problem of deriving the formula for the area of an ellipse. I've got as far as saying there's some ...