
#1
Mar1909, 01:42 PM

P: 41

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Show, using Fermat's principle, that perfect reflecting surfaces are conic sections. 2. Relevant equations Equations for the ellipse, parabola and hyperbola 3. The attempt at a solution Ok, the ellipse seems easy. All rays coming from one focus reflecting to the other focus travels an equal distance if the mirror is an ellipse, since that's the definition of the ellipse. I'm having problems with the hyperbola. If I understand the question correctly, I'm supposed to show that the rays traveling from one focus to the other (virtual image) are equal in length, but they clearly arent. Where is the error in my thinking? 


Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Perfect practice makes perfect!  General Math  0  
show that n+2 is not a perfect square  Calculus & Beyond Homework  7  
more conic section exercises  General Math  1  
Volume of a conic section  Precalculus Mathematics Homework  3 