Conic Sections - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 2 pages of information about Conic Sections.
This section contains 525 words
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Conic Sections

Imagine there are two cone-shaped paper drinking cups, each fastened to the other at its point, or vertex. The figure that would result is described mathematically as a right circular cone (sometimes called a double cone), which is formed by a straight line that moves around the circumference of a circle while passing through a fixed point (the vertex) that is not in the plane of the circle.

If a right circular cone is cut, or intersected, by a plane at different locations, the intersections form a family of plane curves called conic sections (see the figure). If the intersecting plane is parallel to the base of the cone, the intersection is a circle—which shrinks to a point when the plane has moved toward the cone's tip and finally passes through the vertex. If the intersecting plane is not parallel to the...

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This section contains 525 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Conic Sections Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Conic Sections from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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