iam weak in to prepare for that

iam weak in to prepare for that


2 Answers

Aman Bansal
592 Points
11 years ago

Dear Sreekar.

Conic sections are the curves which can be derived from taking slices of a "double-napped" cone. (A double-napped cone, in regular English, is two cones "nose to nose", with the one cone balanced perfectly on the other.) "Section" here is used in a sense similar to that in medicine or science, where a sample (from a biopsy, for instance) is frozen or suffused with a hardening resin, and then extremely thin slices ("sections") are shaved off for viewing under a microscope. If you think of the double-napped cones as being hollow, the curves we refer to as conic sections are what results when you section the cones at various angles. Copyright © Elizabeth Stapel 2010-2011 All Rights Reserved



There are plenty of sites and books with pictures illustrating how to obtain the various curves through sectioning, so I won''t bore you with more pictures here. And there are books and entire web sites devoted to the history of conics, the derivation and proofs of their formulas, and their various applications. I will not attempt to reproduce that information here.

This lesson, and the conic-specific lessons to which this page links, will instead concentrate on: finding curves, given points and other details; finding points and other details, given curves; and setting up and solving conics equations to solve typical word problems.

There are some basic terms that you should know for this topic:

  • center: the point (hk) at the center of a circle, an ellipse, or an hyperbola.
  • vertex (VUR-teks): in the case of a parabola, the point (hk) at the "end" of a parabola; in the case of an ellipse, an end of the major axis; in the case of an hyperbola, the turning point of a branch of an hyperbola; the plural form is "vertices" (VUR-tuh-seez).
  • focus (FOH-kuss): a point from which distances are measured in forming a conic; a point at which these distance-lines converge, or "focus"; the plural form is "foci" (FOH-siy).
  • directrix (dih-RECK-triks): a line from which distances are measured in forming a conic; the plural form is "directrices" (dih-RECK-trih-seez).
  • axis (AK-siss): a line perpendicular to the directrix passing through the vertex of a parabola; also called the "axis of symmetry"; the plural form is "axes" (ACK-seez).
  • major axis: a line segment perpendicular to the directrix of an ellipse and passing through the foci; the line segment terminates on the ellipse at either end; also called the "principal axis of symmetry"; the half of the major axis between the center and the vertex is the semi-major axis.
  • minor axis: a line segment perpendicular to and bisecting the major axis of an ellipse; the segment terminates on the ellipse at either end; the half of the minor axis between the center and the ellipse is the semi-minor axis.
  • locus (LOH-kuss): a set of points satisfying some condition or set of conditions; each of the conics is a locus of points that obeys some sort of rule or rules; the plural form is "loci" (LOH-siy).

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Aman Bansal

Askiitian Expert

yours katarnak Suresh
43 Points
10 years ago

In mathematics, a conic section (or just conic) is a curve obtained as the intersection of a cone (more precisely, a right circular conical surface) with a plane. In analytic geometry, a conic may be defined as a plane algebraic curve of degree 2. There are a number of other geometric definitions possible. One of the most useful, in that it involves only the plane, is that a conic consists of those points whose distances to some point, called a focus, and some line, called a directrix, are in a fixed ratio, called the eccentricity.

Traditionally, the three types of conic section are the hyperbola, the parabola, and the ellipse. The circle is a special case of the ellipse, and is of sufficient interest in its own right that it is sometimes called the fourth type of conic section. The type of a conic corresponds to its eccentricity, those with eccentricity less than 1 being ellipses, those with eccentricity equal to 1 being parabolas, and those with eccentricity greater than 1 being hyperbolas. In the focus-directrix definition of a conic the circle is a limiting case with eccentricity 0. In modern geometry certain degenerate cases, such as the union of two lines, are included as conics as well.

The conic sections were named and studied at least since 200 BC, when Apollonius of Perga undertook a systematic study of their properties.

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