*The term conic sections also can be used when discussing certain planes that are formed when they are intersected with a right circular cone.*

*The term conic sections also can be used when discussing certain planes that are formed when they are intersected with a right circular cone.*The planes, or lines as we know them, consist of the circle, the ellipse, the parabola, and the hyperbola.

Conic sections are a group of curves which are generated by slicing a cone with a plane.

If the plane is tilted parallel to the slope of the cone, the cut produces a parabola.

(Under appropriate magnification they are indistinguishable.) In contrast, ellipses and hyperbolas vary greatly in shape.) and were instructed to build Apollo a new altar of twice the old altar’s volume and with the same cubic shape.

Perplexed, the Delians consulted Plato, who stated that “the oracle meant, not that the god wanted an altar of double the size, but that he wished, in setting them the task, to shame the Greeks for their neglect of mathematics and their contempt for geometry.” ) demonstrated geometrically that rays—for instance, from the Sun—that are parallel to the axis of a paraboloid of revolution (produced by rotating a parabola about its axis of symmetry) meet at the focus.

Typically, the section of the paraboloid used is offset from the centre so that the feedhorn and its support do not unduly block signals to the reflecting dish.

Conic Sections The term conic sections is used when discussing the derivation of a line that is a locus of points equal distance from either a line, a point, both a line and a point, two lines, etc.

Special (degenerate) cases of intersection occur when the plane passes through only the apex (producing a single point) or through the apex and another point on the cone (producing one straight line or two intersecting straight lines).

), known as the “Great Geometer,” gave the conic sections their names and was the first to define the two branches of the hyperbola (which presuppose the double cone).

Taking a flat plane that would be parallel to the base of the cone, and intercepting it with a single nappe of the cone produces the circle.

The ellipse is formed by the intersection of the cone with a flat plane that intercepts one nappe of the cone, but is not parallel to the base, and is not parallel to any other side of the cone.

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